In honour of Grandparents Day, we turn our focus to our elderly loved ones. As life expectancies increase and more people live to an old age, the likelihood of chronic illnesses and ailments will grow. This is when they will require care and support from family members, and providing care to them in their time of need is an act of kindness, love, and loyalty.
New to family caregiving?
If you have an elderly parent or relative who suffers from ailments or a chronic disease, try to learn as much as you can about your family member’s condition. The more you know, the less anxiety you are likely to feel, making you more adept at tackling any difficulties that may arise.
Looking after an elderly parent who suffers from an illness may not be an easy role, so remember that while it’s comforting to give support, you should also share your feelings and receive support from others who understand what you’re going through.
Finally, caregiving does not mean doing everything for your loved one. Be open to technologies that allow your family member to be as independent as possible.
Get another helping hand
Being the primary caregiver doesn’t mean that you have to do everything on your own, so don’t forget to get help from friends, siblings, and other family members, as well as health professionals.
There will also be times when your elderly loved ones may need constant care. This is understandably a challenge for many of us who work during the day or who have inadequate support to provide the care needed. In such scenarios, don’t be afraid to look for options out there. Service providers are a good option, and can usually assist your seniors in activities such as home cleaning, grocery shopping or basic exercises.
Safeguarding the home
The vast majority of your loved ones may live out their days in their own homes, away from you. Therefore, it is important to ensure that home is a safe place in order to prevent accidents from happening. Some simple tips would be to install special smoke detectors with strobe lighting or a vibrate feature which can wake your elderly loved ones up when conventional devices are not able to. Another must are grab bars in the shower and near the toilet.
Looking after their health and safety
Regular exercise can protect the elderly against disease and make them functionally younger by 10 or 15 years. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your seniors are getting adequate exercise. A way to ensure that they are doing the correct form of exercise is to hire a personal trainer or physiotherapist who can help administer the activities in the comfort of their home.
Keeping them socially connected
As the losses associated with aging mount, many seniors become isolated and are at risk of suffering from depression. Therefore, it is important to ensure that they stay engaged with society. One way to do so is to get them involved in community and social activities.
Sharing the golden years with your elderly loved ones can be a beautiful thing with the right amount of preparation and with a little help from external sources like service providers. Here’s wishing all grandparents a Happy Grandparent’s Day!