9 Tips For Caring For An Elderly Relative

Caring for an elderly relative, whether that’s a parent or a grandparent, can be draining and stressful. With some simple tips though, you can make elder care easier on you and on them. 

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  1. Take care of yourself too. It can be easy to forget to look after yourself when you’re focused on looking after someone else. But remember you can’t be an effective carer if you aren’t taking care of number one. You. Give yourself a break and put your own health first. 
  2. Make plans. It’s important to have a plan in case you need to respond to unexpected mishaps. You need to arrange some legal rights, in case you need an access a parent’s bank account or make decisions about their medical treatment. Arrange this before you need it to reduce one stress if you ever need to use it. 
  3. Call in the cavalry. Don’t try and take on their care all by yourself. Can other relatives take it in turns with you to visit or bring in meals? Does your relative have trustworthy neighbors they like? You could give them your contact details to they know who to call if there’s an emergency. 
  4. Learn some first aid. Take a basic first aid, or learn some basics online. Good skills would be recognizing symptoms for conditions like a heart attack or a stroke. Learn how to put a person in the recovery position, and how to treat minor falls or burns. You could also learn about things like self catheterization in case you need to care for a relative after a hospital stay. 
  5. Let go of guilt. If you’re spending a lot of time as a carer, remember it’s normal to sometimes feel stressed, frustrated or even just plain bored. Don’t feel guilty for these totally normal reactions. Instead, find ways to alleviate the problem, whether it’s finding someone to talk to about your frustrations or dividing some of your caring duties between other people. 
  6. Check what you’re entitled to.If you’ve given up work to care for a relative, you may be entitled to some kind of carer’s benefit to help fund you. Make sure you check so you don’t go short. 
  7. Talk about it. Join a local carer’s group or an online forum for carers so you can talk about your worries or frustrations with somebody who understands what you’re dealing with. Having this support network can really help you stay sane at the toughest parts of elder care. 
  8. Have patience. An elder needing to be cared for, especially by their child, may find the loss of independence stressful and upsetting, so try and have patience with them if they’re angry, distressed or sometimes even ungrateful. Their life has changed too, and they will need time to adjust. 
  9. Maintain their independence. Help your relatives to feel some control over their own lives. If they’re capable of it, let them make decisions about their own care. If they’re less capable, let them make decisions they are able to make, whether it’s as simple as what meals to have or more complex like helping to choose adjustments to their home to make it easier for them to live in.
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Tips For Helping Your Folks Find A Nursing Home

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It’s strange to think how the roles reverse as we age, where once upon a time we used to be entirely dependant on our parents who were physically and mentally agile, however. now they may have increasingly become dependent and are now in need of your support

 

Every year, millions of people in America face a tough decision of whether to encourage or place their parents/guardians into a nursing home. This decision is made easier if your folks are aware they may not be capable of living independently as they used too. Alternatively, others may feel their parents are no longer able to live alone despite their parents’ protests, and that maybe they might be safer and happier in a nursing home with 24/7 care.

 

Whether your parent has enlisted your help for finding a nursing home or you think it may be in their best interests, the below tips can help you to help your parents find somewhere suitable to live, somewhere that provides you and your folk’s with peace of mind.

Include Your Parents In The Decision Making

If your folks have asked for your help to find them a nursing home, ask them what they are looking for. Note down their thoughts, whether they wish to live in a remote nursing home with pleasant gardens to stroll around, perhaps they would like to be a part of a home that has regular activities, or maybe they have a zest for tasty food. Whatever their thoughts, this will help you research the best care homes for your family.

Research

There’s a divide between the elderly who use the internet and those who are not entirely sure how to use it. Either way, chances are you have more experienced in how to use Google to your advantage to find a suitable care home than your parents are.

 

The utmost care initially should be taken to source nursing homes with a good reputation. Take time to read reviews and source any newsworthy articles attached to nursing homes you are considering attending. Above all, the most important elements of a nursing home to consider are:

 

  • The standard of care provided to the elderly
  • Cleanliness and hygiene
  • A happy welcoming environment for your family members

 

A large concern for those helping their parents into a nursing home is whether their parents will receive a high standard of care and respect to keep them happy and healthy. If you suspect nursing home abuse of a family member or friend, you can contact an attorney such as Green Broillet & Wheeler for legal advice.

Schedule Visits

Once you’ve chosen a few nursing homes and sourced your information online, present your findings to your parents. Whether through pictures online or brochures you’ve ordered. This is your time to take a step back and let your folks review their options.

 

Try to encourage your family members to visit a few homes. This may mean viewing homes which are out of state too as they could have better facilities/healthcare. Contact the favored nursing homes and schedule your visits. Try to block out half a day to spend an adequate amount of time in each nursing home. Check out all of the facilities, potential free rooms available, talk to the staff and the elderly to gauge their experience of working/living in the nursing home. Prepare questions in advance to ask about the health care they provide, social events and visiting hours. You could make it a pleasurable day out and go for a spot of lunch after your nursing home tour to discuss the homes you’ve viewed. After you’ve viewed the nursing homes of your parent’s choice, set another date to attend the nursing homes they like again. This will help solidify theirs and your decision about which nursing home is most suitable to take care of your parents.

 

Helping your parents to choose a home, or choosing one for them can be a problematic and stressful time for you. You may be filled with feelings of worry and guilt, and this is entirely natural. If you are struggling to move closer towards a decision of choosing a home, you could ask for help from your family or friends.

 

When you eventually arrive at the best nursing home option for your parents, you can take comfort in knowing they will have them around the clock support that they need, provided by qualified members of staff.

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Making A Loved One’s Goodbye A Little Easier

Saying goodbye to a loved one and preparing for the end of their life when you can see it coming isn’t something we like to think about. However, there are thousands of people facing that very problem right now. Once you’ve gotten over the initial shock (and that may take some time) how do you make their goodbye as peaceful as it can be?

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Make their care the very best

When you know that someone is heading towards the end of their life, normal healthcare services don’t cut it as much. Our current healthcare system can be a stressor as often as it can be a relief. Palliative care is a relatively recent idea and palliative health centers take the approach of focusing 100% of their energy towards making their patients more comfortable and addressing some of the symptoms common during end-of-life. Otherwise, you may want to think about hiring a carer for your loved one.

Give them as little to do as possible

If you’re loved one is staying in their home, then there is a lot that you can do to help them cope with managing their household and caring for themselves. For instance, it’s worth thinking about hiring a cleaner or a gardener if you don’t have the time to spare yourself. You still have your responsibilities, after all. Just make sure you consult your loved one before you make any decisions. If they are active enough, they may feel like the idea of doing their own housework for as long as they can is their means of expressing their independence.

 

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Help them prepare

Similarly, take care when approaching the subject of the admin that has to be done before we die. Once you’ve both come to terms (as much as you can) in the short-term, open by asking about any last wishes they have, including preferred funeral arrangements. If they’re receptive to your help, you can ask if they need any help setting their affairs in order. It might include helping them set up a will with an attorney, assigning power of attorney for healthcare, and other estate planning steps that can clear up a lot of confusion in the aftermath of a death.

Be a loved one, not a carer

There’s a reason that hiring a cleaner or carer if you can afford it is recommended over offering to do it yourself. You want to be there for them as a loved one. If all of your time with them is taken up by busying around them, they can start to feel like they are a burden on you or might even resent getting little time away from you. No matter how you help them, ensure that you are spending time with them, too. It can help both of you deal with the anticipatory grief.

Beyond the tips above, make sure you take care of yourself. It’s going to be an incredibly emotional time for everyone involved and you need to find your own release to help you cope. You’re not going to be much help if you’re not helping yourself, too.

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How To Tell if A Loved One is In need of Home Care

If you have a loved one and you suspect that they are in need of home care then you are certainly not alone. A lot of people need to hire a home care service every single year because their relative or friend is no longer able to care for themselves, but that doesn’t make the decision any less difficult. You may feel as though you are taking away their independence when you hire a home care service and you may also feel as though you should be the one giving them the support that they need. Even so, a home care service can really help you to relieve some of the tension that is in your family while also helping you to feel more comfortable with yourself.

 

Memory Problems

 

You may need to think about an at home senior care service if your loved one starts to show significant memory problems. A lot of people have occasional forgetfulness when it comes to remembering their keys or anything else, but if your loved one has serious problems and they are unable to remember consistent facts then you need to consider home care. They may be unable to remember where they live, or even what they had for dinner. When it comes to this stage then a care service may be required because they may not be eating and if they have

eaten, they wouldn’t know it.

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Accidents

 

Accidents happen, especially as people get older. One accident is not a sign that your loved one is in need of home care, but if your loved one is having consistent and serious accidents then you should certainly think about hiring a home care service. A serious accident can cause problems such as damages to the joints and even broken bones. If you suspect that your elderly loved one cannot get to the bathroom without falling or if you know that they are having trouble carrying out daily tasks without experiencing an accident then a home care service may be an option.

 

Performing Daily Tasks

 

Another sign that your loved one needs home care is that they can’t do things like they used to. If you know that they cannot cook a full dinner or that they are missing medical appointments then this isn’t good and they may not even admit the reason why. You also need to look out for your relative not making their favourite meal anymore or even not cleaning the house. This shows that they are unable to do the things that they used to do and you don’t want it to get to the stage where they cannot look after themselves without any help or assistance as this could cause them even more medical problems.


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Other things that you need to look out for include them not looking after their pet, or them not leaving the house for extended periods of time as this can cause them issues both socially and on a physical basis as well. A home care service can solve all of the above problems.

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Snowy Seniors – How To Make Sure Your Elderly Loved Ones Stay Safe This Season

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