Most youngsters see old age as a carefree life without any professional and personal responsibilities. But old age attracts several problems like weakening mobility, plenty of health issues, lifestyle ailments, mental issues, etc. It makes life challenging for elders.
But it’s a more demanding situation for all those who are taking care of the old. The job is challenging, time-consuming, and stressful. Here, we share some helpful tips that would enable you to take care of your elderly loved ones with flair.
1. The Extent Of Care Required
While taking care of seniors, we often fail to see the forest for the trees. With a long list of To Do’s, we often miss the overall picture. There is no one-care-plan-fits-all. Hence, foremost you need to assess the extent of care required and then plan accordingly.
You can chalk out monthly, weekly, and daily tasks along with all help and supervision required during day and night. Taking notes of every resource provided helps in accurate planning. Once you have the rough plan, continue taking notes to make new adjustments as required.
2. Your Capacity
Taking care of seniors is strenuous. You also have to take care of various responsibilities, including your work. Hence, you need to be realistic and easy on yourself. Pushing yourself beyond your limits will eventually burn you out and leave you incapable of offering care services.
Thus, you should be intelligent and proactive by enlisting all the help you need for a comfortable and happy life, like professional in-home care providers, respite care services, a senior companion program, adult day programs, etc.
You should also have all materials that make taking care easy. For instance, if you have a completely bed-ridden elderly, materials like absorbent underwear, adult pull up diapers , bedpans, urine bottles, etc., are convenient.
3. Ensure A Balanced Meal
A proper diet plan is of utmost importance for ailing senior patients, who are highly vulnerable to malnutrition. Primary reasons for it are their inability to cook appropriate food and hunger issues stemming from their health and medication. This makes a healthy, nutritious, and tasty diet essential. Getting a diet chart prepared by a trained dietician with variations and the patient’s taste works well.
4. Taking Care Of Activities Of Daily Life
Apart from daily meals, several chores demand attention, like managing shopping, transportation, house cleaning and maintenance, stocking medical supplies, etc. It is essential to plan and share them amongst family members, friends, and care helpers. It will lead to a stress-free life.
5. Ensure Top-notch Medical Care
Almost all elders have some health issues. Chronic health issues are pretty standard. Given that, it is imperative to ensure proper medical care and regular supervision under expert doctors. If the ailment is severe, like dementia, cancer, etc., an extra layer of security and care should be planned and executed.
6. Ensure Physical And Financial Safety
Taking care of an elder can be extremely strenuous and taxing from all corners. It can only be made smooth with proper planning. Few safety measures you can take are:
- Make the house safe, accident-proof, and accessible. For instance, you might need a safety guard if the patient has diseases like dementia and can walk away from the house to get lost. Structural modifications might also be required to make the house senior-friendly and prevent accidental falls, easy mobility, etc.
- Often caring for the elderly involves high finances that look impossible to meet. Moreover, there is a possibility that the elderly might become incapable of managing their finances. But, with proper planning and the right move, it is easily possible to meet the finances without moving mountains like quitting jobs or draining all savings accounts.
- Embrace technology to make caregiving a breeze. Today, there are a multitude of apps available that prove a lifesaver. For instance, they can help you remember all necessary dates and appointments, check calories eaten, exercise done, etc. They can alert you in case of any unexpected developments like an alarm for suddenly deteriorating health, etc.
7. Personal Hygiene Is A Must
Often, elders are not able to maintain physical hygiene by themselves. The situation can be more complicated if the elderly is bedridden. It demands a higher level of care. A few things you should ensure for physical hygiene is:
- Daily bath and change of clothes.
- Regular bed sheets change.
- Keeping the room and house clean and well-ventilated.
- Use disinfectant regularly to kill all possible germs and clothes.
8. Mental Well-Being is of Equal Importance
The mental well-being of the elderly is of equal importance. A few handy tips to follow are:
- Keep the elderly active and engaged to the maximum. For instance, a daily walk, occasional visit to religious and recreational spots, a vacation trip, if possible, etc. It will keep them rejuvenated.
- Spend quality time with them to make them feel loved and wanted.
- Regular consultation with them in all critical decisions to let them know that their opinion matters.
- Block social isolation by arranging regular visits from friends and families.
- Remaining patient, calm, and sensitive when elders display black mood swings, stubborn behavior, etc., because of their inability and helpless situation.
Caring for elders is a labor of love. You can win the battle comfortably only with proper planning, careful and compassionate consideration, and sensible decisions. Involving family members, friends, and helpers would help you and your loved elders lead a fruitful life.