Elderly relatives come to a point where extra care is needed.
It is important to also know that those taking care of them also need extra care.
As we get older, it is only natural that we need a little more care and support from those around us. As a result, you may find that you have noticed a reversal in your relationship with your parent or grandparent. This occurs as you begin to take care of a person who once took care of you. The change can be hard for anyone to process, In fact, many elderly relatives tend to push away offers for help and support. In turn, this makes it hard to provide them with exactly what they need.
With that in mind, here are some top tips that you can use to take care of an elderly relative.
- Encourage your elderly relative to stay active. They may not be able to move the way they used to. However, it’s important that we encourage our elderly relatives to stay as active as possible. For example, this could include taking a short walk. If they struggle with low mobility seated chair exercises are good to consider.
- Keep up to date with their appointments. It is essential that you help your relatives keep on track of any medical appointments. Whether they are taking repeat prescriptions, or you have noticed that their hearing has changed a little this is important. You can help your elderly relatives to stay happy and healthy. Consequently, help them to make sure that they never miss an appointment, or annual check-up. For example, you should encourage them to attend a regular hearing evaluation to monitor any changes to their hearing and assess whether or not they need hearing aids.
- Help them follow a healthy diet. While it may be fine to indulge in a treat from time to time, it’s important that the majority of the time a nutritious diet is followed. However, if your relative or loved one is dealing with other issues, they may not have the time to spend hours in the kitchen cooking and preparing foods. Make the process a little easier for them by batch-cooking meals ahead of time and freezing them. Then, the only thing they have to do is reheat the meals when they are feeling hungry. Focus on providing them with a variety of different foods, including food that can lower their blood pressure.
- Spend quality time together. One of the most common issues that our elderly population face is isolation and loneliness. Feelings of isolation can lead to mental health struggles further down the line. Therefore, you should make some time in your schedule to spend quality time together whenever possible. However, it’s important to remember that a simple phone call can also brighten their day – and yours too! Socializing – even digitally – is even more important as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Don’t treat them like a child. Although your loved one may need more support now, it’s important that you do not treat them as though they are a child. This will only cause frustration and resentment on their end. Treat them with the same respect and dignity that you always have . Of course, while acknowledging that you may need to give them a little more help than before.
How are your relatives doing? Do you have additional tips to share?
Scroll down and let me know.
Elise Ho, Ph.D., D.N.Psy
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