As you age the family dynamics in which you are used to start to shift. Rolls of caregivers are reversed and you become the one people call upon for help and advice. As your parents, grandparents or relatives start to age they may become less independent, less confident and have enhanced needs. Knowing how to meet these needs and provide the care and assistance your relatives need can be difficult. So, to help you when it comes to caring for and helping your elderly relatives here are some tips to help you, help them.
Physical care and support
Everyone’s needs will be different but typically older generations are likely to have enhanced physical needs. As you age your strength, fitness and mobility can decline and providing physical care and support is very common when looking after ageing relatives. Here are some ways you can help support their physical needs;
- Implement aids around the home. This could be grab rails, stair lifts or additional support such as tools to help reach things that may be low down or high up. Sometimes the installation of household aids can be met with resistance but it is important to remember that these aids are to improve the safety of your nearest and dearest. So, although it may be a difficult conversation it is one worth having.
- Provide transportation support. If your relatives are no longer able to drive themselves or public transport is limited or impractical it may be that you can offer your help when it comes to getting out and about. Physical limitations that render elderly people housebound can have a severe impact on their emotional wellbeing and as such getting out and about is pivotal. By helping out with the logistics of going out you can afford your relatives to enjoy a bit of independence and a much-needed change of scenery.
- Help with shopping. Shopping is essential but it can be an arduous task as you age. Helping your relatives to complete their weekly shopping can remove considerable stress in their life.
Administrative care and support
Life admin is another essential but taxing task that can only become more difficult as you age. As more things switch online or become virtual it can be difficult for older generations to keep pace. Offering support with paperwork, authorities and professional services, be it online or physically can provide a huge relief to older generations. This support could be anything from helping them to organise a funeral plan to changing energy suppliers.
Emotional care and support
Of course, caring for the emotional well-being of those whom you love is another key component in ensuring their overall health and happiness. It is not uncommon for the elderly to experience feelings of isolation or loneliness in their later years and ensuring that you keep the lines of communication open is an essential way to help prevent such feelings. Furthermore, the loss of independence or physical ability can hurt the emotional well-being of ageing generations so offering support while allowing a degree of independence to remain is another great way to help keep their emotional wellbeing intact.
Nb. Collaborative post.