Caring for the Elderly: 5 Steps You Cannot Skip

Caring for Elderly

We all hit a stage of our lives where we are called upon to care for an elderly family member. It’s a natural part of life, and it’s a role that everybody wants to do as well as they can! But, caring for the elderly can take a large chunk out of your life, and can cause a lot of stress along the way. We’re going to run through some very important steps to care for the elderly in the best way possible.

Hearing Aids

Hearing loss is a very common issue amongst elderly people. Losing your hearing can make you feel very vulnerable and can make daily life far more complex. It’s important to make sure your elderly relative is getting their hearing checked regularly so they have the best support available to them.

If your elderly relative needs help with their hearing, you should do extensive research into the best hearing aids available. Getting your relative a hearing aid that has been approved by audiologists is vital. There are so many hearing aids on the market, and each one has different specs and specialities, so you can be sure that the perfect assistance is out there. 

Some of the best available will have full Bluetooth capabilities, rechargeable cases (much like your wireless earbuds) and will connect to an app on a smartphone that can tailor the hearing aid’s settings to certain situations. Getting on top of the issue early is important, so it’s a good idea to start looking as soon as you can!

Hearing Aids
Image Credit: Pinterest 

Mental Well-being

It’s incredibly important to look out for the mental well-being of your elderly relative. They may start to become more forgetful, confused, and disorientated as their age catches up to them, and this process can be very distressing for both them and you. 

There are many great ways to boost the mental well-being of your elderly relative. You can encourage them to play mind games that will keep their mind active, even games like Sodoku and crossword puzzles can have a great effect on their cognitive abilities! 

You can even think about organizing a visit from a certified therapy dog or adopting one of the best dogs for seniors as a therapy option. Dogs can help boost mood, as well as have a fun and entertaining way to help elevate endorphins and positivity during daily life. There are many therapy dog organizations and charities that are on call to help out your relative now! 

Mental Well-being

Keeping a Schedule

It can be difficult for some elderly people to keep track of the days. Confusion and forgetfulness are perfectly natural in old age, but there are a few things you can do to help out with that!

Keeping a schedule can be very beneficial to elderly people. If you divide your care between yourself, other relatives, and professional carers, then you can create a bespoke schedule online. These handy online services will streamline the process and allow everybody to keep track of the schedule, so your elderly relative or loved one will know who they are going to see each day.  

Not only will this provide some stability, but also it’ll give them something to look forward to! For you and your fellow caregivers, it will stop any potential confusion or mix-ups regarding your shifts or days. So get into a routine now and everybody will come out happier!

Keeping Track of Medication

As your relative grows older, they will likely begin to develop more and more health conditions. Thankfully, modern medicine is advanced enough to have an answer for most ailments, but this also means that the amount of medication your elderly relative is expected to take can begin to get overwhelming.

Most medications have specific circumstances where they will work best. Some need to be taken after meals, some on an empty stomach, some in the morning, and some before bed. The range of medications and specific instructions can become confusing for some elderly people, which can lead to them forgetting to take certain pills altogether!

Getting your relative a medication dispenser can cut back on all of these problems. You can set these devices yourself and fill them up for the entire week ahead. This means that your relative will be given a reminder every time they need to take their medication and the device will only dispense the exact medication that they need. This is likely to become a very valuable tool that will give you full peace of mind knowing that your relative is taking exactly what they need to when they need to.


Educate Yourself

Ageing is a complex process and one that we often don't know much about! It’s a great idea to get yourself educated on the specific effects of ageing. You can easily contact professionals who will share all of their years of expertise and help you understand exactly what the elderly are going through. 

Once you know what is going on, you can be far more prepared and empathetic. This will help you to tailor your specific care and your bedside manner to suit all ailments and conditions. Also, it’ll give you a confidence boost and almost all aspects of caregiving. 

You’ll find medical appointments far less stressful as you’ll know what you should look out for and you can be advised o the best questions to ask. Half the battle is knowing what to do, and when to do it. Once you’ve got that part nailed, you can provide the best care you possibly can.

Providing care can be complex and challenging, but by following these simple steps you should be more prepared and better equipped to deal with anything that age throws your way. Your elderly loved ones deserve the best care you can manage, but at the same time, you need to look after yourself. Finding this balance can take time, but once you have, everybody will be happier and healthier. 

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