If you have taken it upon yourself to be responsible for an elderly relative, it can be difficult to know what to expect and how you’re going to cope in this new role. While caring is extremely rewarding, it can be stressful and take up a great deal of your time. Caregivers are often at high risk of suffering burnout due to the constant pressure they’re under. Therefore, it is not a decision to be taken lightly.
Yet, with the correct tips and advice, you can start the caregiving process on the right foot and know what to do next if you require additional help. Here are some top tips on caring for an elderly person:
Assess the Amount of Care Needed
In many cases, individuals who have chosen to look after an elderly person independently are shocked to learn that they need specialist care on a full-time basis. Be vigilant not to commit to too much responsibility from the start, as the strain of the role can start to impact your health and well-being. To evaluate whether full-time caregiving is manageable, you may need to analyze the type and number of tasks that need to be done each day, as well as your availability. If it is looking to be impossible to manage caregiving independently, you may want to research retirement communities near me as an alternative solution.
When it comes to caring for someone you love, you may start with the notion that you would do absolutely everything possible to be there for them when they need you. Yet, as time goes on, it can become evident that your aspirations may not always be realistic – especially if you have other responsibilities and commitments on your plate. Don’t feel guilty about this.
Providing you can seek help for additional home care, you can still do your bit from time to time, whether that be carrying out their domestic chores, preparing meals, or taking them out several times per week.
Keep Them Active
Providing they are still fit and able to do so, keeping your elderly loved one active is one of the best things ways to keep them in good health. Not only can it prevent many health complications later down the line, but it can also keep their bones supple and muscles strong. What’s more, staying fit can also boost their mental health and ensure they maintain their independence.
Stay Up to Date with Their Medical Care
Most older adults who suffer from health complaints will be taking some form of medication. If you’re planning on caring for your loved one at home, it is important to understand their medical needs by talking to their GP or healthcare team. Ensure you keep a close eye out for any worsening symptoms or signs of possible health conditions, including poor memory, slurred speech, weight loss, lack of appetite, or loss of balance. Additionally, be aware of any emotional symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, or sadness, should you need to seek further medical help.