Taking Care Of The Elderly Can Be Easier Than You Think

Growing old is a fact of life, and many people need different levels of care when they reach the twilight of their lives. There are many different options to choose from, from looking after them in your own home to moving them into assisted living or even putting them into a full-time residential home. Whatever option you go for you need to make the decision in conjunction with your loved one, always putting their interests before your own. It needn’t be daunting taking care of the elderly, as the options open to us have never made it more uncomplicated, so here we will take a look at why it can be easier than you think to look after a loved one in their dotage. 

Assess their needs

All people have their own needs and this is especially true for the elderly, it is, therefore, important to speak to your loved ones and see what they are looking for before you make any decisions. They may be incredibly social people so putting them in a residential home could be a great proposition as they will never feel lonely, however, if someone has led a more solitary life then this type of institution could be too ‘busy’ for them and they may prefer assisted living so that they still have an element of independence. The most important point, though, is that wherever your loved ones spend their retirement it has to be best for their needs, and at least you now have the options open to you to do this.

Understand finances

Unfortunately, the cost of caring for the elderly has never been higher, but this isn’t necessarily a barrier to care. If your loved ones have planned for their future they may be sitting on a pension or savings that could augment the cost of a retirement home or assisted living. If they are not so fortunate to be in this position at least you still have the option of caring for them in your home, and then using council facilities and schemes so that they still have the social interaction with their friends that they deserve. A lack of funds is not a barrier to great care.

Explore caring options

Once you have understood what your loved one wants and the financial limitations, you can then explore what sort of care is available. There are many different care providers from those that will come to your home to assist with physiotherapy and stimulation to those that will visit assisted living accommodation and provide healthy meals and drinks and the opportunity for talk and interaction. You can even hire a care manager that can look after all aspects of your loved one’s life so that they can spend their final years as stimulated and comfortable as possible.

Convert your home

Maybe you are in the position where you don’t have the finances to put your loved one into full time or part-time care and have to look after them from home. Well, in this scenario it is important to make your home as “elderly-safe” as possible, just as you would do with a young child. If you can, give them a bedroom on the ground floor and install safety rails and mats in the bathroom to avoid accidents. If they are used to their independence then consider adding an annex to your home so that they can maintain their privacy. There are so many options available that they do not need to make a huge impact on your life.

Communications

No one likes to feel as if they are out of the loop and forgotten about, and this is especially true of the elderly. Wherever you decide to house them, it is important to maintain regular communication with them, even if they are in the room next door. Try and keep them stimulated by sending books and articles to read, or pop over and enjoy a crossword or word search with them to help pass the time. Most importantly, treat them how you would like to be treated so that they feel valued and have a meaningful end to their lives.

As we have learned taking care of the elderly is a lot easier than you think. The first step is to assess their needs and see what they really want. If they need it, there are many different types of accommodation that will leave them feeling valued and cared for, and if this is beyond your finances then consider moving them into your home. Make sure they are always stimulated by sending them to groups and courses so that they can interact with their peers, and treat them how you would like to be treated so that they have a comfortable and fulfilled end to their lives.