There’s no denying the fact that aging is the reality of life. And it, one way or another, affects the whole family unit. But, as grown-up kids, it’s difficult for us to entirely fathom to what degree aging will influence our seniors or how it will impact us. Sure, there are older people out there who are at their healthiest and live independently. However, there comes a time when drastic changes and concerns become apparent and emphasize the need for long-term care.
The physical and mental stamina deterioration might lead to evident and significant changes in the elderly’s emotional wellness, way of living, and physical characteristics. And while it’s true that our aged loved ones wish to spend their vintage years on their own for as much time as possible. However, when such health issues strike, it’s time for us to look after our frail seniors.
Caring for the elderly, at times, can be taxing for the caregivers, and they are at a heightened risk of burnout. However, know that it’s not easy for seniors to become helpless and rely on others for care. The responsibility of living with aged people requires patience, love, and respect.
So, let’s consider some of the elderly care tips that enable you to pace yourself throughout this experience and make all the difference in the lives of our seniors:
Enlist the help of nursing homes
Unquestionably, caretaking is a heavy responsibility. You may find yourself in the throes of constantly juggling between your job responsibilities, being a caregiver, and fulfilling your family’s needs. In such circumstances, it’s time to consider alternative solutions.
A nursing home is the best option for caregivers who are short-handed on time but want to ensure that the elderly receive holistic care and complete medical attention. So, let’s say you live in one of Australia’s populous and vibrant cities, Sydney. In that case, type in nursing homes Sydney to pick the most reliable and reputable facility for your aged loved ones.
The nursing home helps seniors execute everyday activities such as bathing, gardening, and eating. Not only this, but your aged loved ones can enjoy the company of dedicated and compassionate carers who, with time, might grow as trusted and loyal friends.
That said, feel no shame in engaging additional help. While it may seem like you are abandoning your aged loved one, know that you aren’t. In truth, you are just making sure that your elderly receive the best possible care in vintage years and are well-looked after.
Encourage healthy eating
It’s no secret that our dietary needs and nutritional requirements change with time. Specifically, the elderly are prone to an elevated risk of starvation and undernutrition.
There are several reasons for it. A specific one is that the aged one lacks the energy and strength to visit grocery stores and prepare meals from scratch. Even more so if your senior loved one struggles with some disease. As a result, they prefer eating highly processed foods void of nutritional value.
So, if it’s your responsibility to keep your senior loved one well-fed, ensure they have access to a well-balanced and nutritional diet. It must contain fresh-picked fruits and vegetables and dietary staples. Also, limit the intake of sugary items, refined carbs, and snacks. Lastly, ensure the elderly drink plenty of water every day to prevent urinary infections and constipation issues.
Pay attention to mental health
The decision to look after your senior, at times, can be mentally draining. It grows much more challenging as the needs and preferences of the elderly increase commensurately with each passing year.
However, understand that it’s much more frustrating and worse for your aged ones to become reliant on others. Therefore, try not to make them feel like they are a burden to your life. Since your aged loved ones have already suffered from stress and experienced difficult times in their lives, allow them to unwind and relax completely.
Also, in the haste to maintain physical health, don’t forget to pay heed to the cognitive health of the seniors. As the elderly grow old, their mental vitality deteriorates, and they encounter cognitive issues and memory decline.
So, to stave off this memory degradation, indulge them in engaging activities. Crossword puzzles, reading books, writing, and trying new activities can help senior citizens keep their minds sharp and mentally active.
Provide a safe environment at home
Just as we child-proof our residence and remove safety hazards to keep the kids safe and unharmed, the same is valid with aged ones. Slips and falls incidents and injuries can prove to be deleterious for senior citizens, specifically while you are away and they are alone at the house.
Therefore, try to create a safe and accessible environment at home for the ease of seniors. Take a look around your house and appraise the factors that can be detrimental to the health of the elderly. Some structural amendments may indeed be necessary. However, a few adjustments and DIY activities can go a long way in protecting seniors.
For instance, add extra lighting fixtures, install handrails and grab bars wherever needed, toss away additional clutter, and get rid of tangled cords and wires. These simple fixes and modifications can grant your aged loved ones an opportunity to live a bit more independently, thereby reducing the workload on your plate.
Let them connect with others
One of the primary reasons for depression and sadness among seniors is the lack of socialization and isolation. Feeling all alone may result in low self-confidence, increased stress levels, and, further, incite feelings of being unwanted. And this, in turn, can spell additional health problems.
So, try to come up with ideas that can overcome the prolonged boredom of your aged loved ones. A multitude of opportunities exists to keep the seniors connected with others. For instance, you can arrange a family picnic and take the elderly along with you. Likewise, volunteering in local charities, discovering new hobbies, and learning new skills can help fight desolation.
Nonetheless, suppose your aged loved one suffers from mobility issues. In that case, you can encourage them to socialize with friends and family through audio or video calls.
Looking after an elderly loved one is undoubtedly a challenging and nerve-racking endeavor that requires 24/7 commitment. There might be times when you feel detached, alone, or indisposed. However, when you aren’t in the best of your health, you can’t possibly look after anyone else. Therefore, it’s imperative to carve out time for yourself and keep yourself happy and healthy.
Nevertheless, if at any point, this commitment succumbs you to fatigue and takes a massive toll on your physical and mental well-being. In that case, it’s time to ask for help and seek a support system on whom you can lean. This support can derive from close friends or family members willing to ease off some load from you. Also, you can choose to hire caregivers or, better yet, leverage professional eldercare services.