As we get older, maintaining independence can get harder. Many seniors rely on their family members or caregivers to maintain a great quality of life.
If you are currently supporting an aging relative, you will know how difficult it can be. Caregiving is tough, especially when you’re trying to do everything on your own.
When you love your relative unconditionally, you are prepared to do anything for them. Whether it’s an elderly parent or a disabled family member who needs daily support, your care makes the world of difference to their lives.
Although it can be hard work, it’s nicer when you can provide care for your loved one, instead of outsourcing the care to a professional. Taking on a caregiving role enables you to spend quality time with your relative while also helping them to maintain some independence.
As an adult, trying to juggle your professional work and caregiving role isn’t the easiest thing to do. You want to find the best plan for your family but it’s stressful trying to earn a living while also making sure you’re older relative has everything that they need.
Every adult’s needs are different but there is some general advice that can work well for every caregiver. To help make things a little easier for you, here are some top tips to help you look after an aging relative.
Use a Medical Alert System
Medical alert systems are a great way to ensure the safety of your aging relative. They protect your loved one if they fall or have an accident.
A medical alarm can be activated in times of need so your relative can get immediate medical attention. It’s the perfect piece of technology for seniors to use when they live alone to help them maintain independence while staying safe.
Find a medical alert system with the best customer service so that you can rest assured knowing that you’ve chosen the right product. Once you’ve found the perfect alarm, you can give it to your relative so they can always get help if needed.
Let Them Take the Lead
When older adults feel like they can’t make any of their own decisions, they can start to feel helpless. They might begin to think that they have no independence and this can knock down their confidence.
Even if you are a long-term caregiver for your aging relative, try and let them take the lead as much as possible. Allow them to make their own decisions about their care, and let them choose where to go, what to eat, and how to do things.
If you feel that their safety will be compromised by one of their decisions, you might need to step in and take the lead. But try to give them independence wherever possible.
If you don’t think that they are capable of doing something by themselves but they refuse to accept your help, convey your concerns and see if there is somebody else that they’d prefer to get help from. Sometimes, aging adults prefer to get help from somebody who is not within the family. Don’t take it to heart if this is the case but try and offer your help wherever possible.
Some seniors may struggle to assert their authority and ask for assistance, even when they know deep down that they need it. Don’t be afraid to ask your parents directly to determine if they need help or not.
Provide Emotional Support
Your aging relative might need physical support to do their daily activities but it’s just as important to provide emotional support for them.
Emotional health becomes especially important for seniors who live alone. To prevent them from feeling isolated or lonely, it’s important to provide ongoing support in every area of your loved one’s life.
Be an active listener and allow them to vent or chat about their day with you. Don’t interrupt them or get impatient if they end up repeating themselves every so often.
Even if it’s just popping around to their house for a quick coffee each night or taking them out for a day trip on the weekends, it can make a huge difference to their quality of life. They can feel less alone and younger at heart when they are able to go out and do the things that they enjoy with you and your other family members.