When an elderly loved ones can no longer care for themselves, it falls upon their family members to offer some help. Before doing so, you should carefully evaluate their needs. The seniors may need assistance to perform day-to-day activities or do well with just some extra support. It varies with individuals.
Besides, being a caregiver is no small responsibility. You need to evaluate your own needs, physical and mental health conditions before moving forward with your decision. This is a complete guide to caring for seniors that you will find helpful during the journey:
1. Readjust the House to Their Needs
Caring for the elderly at home necessitates certain adjustments. Though small, these adjustments could make a considerable difference in the senior’s life. You can start with removing clutter from corridors as well as additional furniture in the house.
That would significantly decrease their chances of tripping over something and seriously injuring themselves. Apart from that, you should install grab bars in the shower and toilet. Make sure the floors don’t have cables or loose wires. Buying non-skid mats for the kitchen, bathroom, and other slippery areas of the house is imperative while caring for seniors.
2. Involve Them in Decisions
Often seniors with chronic medical conditions resist care when they don’t feel a part of the decision-making process. Well, a significant part of their care includes making them feel more in control and independent.
Hence, family members and the care team must include seniors in every decision and conversation. Their opinions and inputs hold great value while they can still make decisions. Listening attentively works far better than dismissing their concerns and ideas.
For this reason, caring for the elderly at home requires open communication and honesty.
3. Help Them Stay Active
According to CDC, seniors must get a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise every week. Any reasonable level of physical activity should be encouraged while caring for seniors. If you’re concerned about their safety, consult a physical therapist or a doctor to determine which exercises are suitable for your loved one.
For instance, if the elderly loved one is living with osteoarthritis, they should probably stick to light yoga, stationary cycling, and swimming since they are considered joint-friendly exercises. The therapist may also recommend Passive Range of Motion exercises while caring for the bedridden elderly at home.
In such exercises, you have to help move their limbs to maintain joint mobility. Also, try to keep them as close to nature as possible.
4. Stay Updated with Technology
The introduction of new technologies means that there could be a better way to improve seniors’ quality of life. It could be virtual appointments with the care provider, thereby eliminating the risk of hospital exposure and constant travel.
Besides, technology has enabled a 24*7 remote monitoring system for patients allowing timely intervention in emergency situations. Therefore, you should keep abreast of the latest technologies for in-home elderly care. You can also visit Best Practice Caregiving – a free database for family caregivers.
5. Be Careful with Medicines
This is a tricky one and could lead to unfavorable consequences if not dealt with caution. Due to drowsiness, memory loss, poor eyesight, and cognitive decline, seniors can mix up their medications. It could potentially lead to overdose or drug interaction.
For this reason, you should label their medications in bold letters along with the instructions. Also, store them in specific drawers that are easy to reach and minimize any chance of a mix-up. Ensure that they never miss a dose while caring for seniors.
6. Hire a Help
You must consider this option if it’s not possible for you to relocate, especially if your loved one requires round-the-clock care. Hiring professional help would ensure that they are adequately taken care of.
Besides, AdvantagePlusNurses offers remote monitoring services for elderly patients living in any part of the country. Our care team monitors their vitals and keeps in touch with them every single day.
That said, even if you don’t live close by, you should visit them regularly. Seniors need to spend as much time with family as possible to maintain their moods and spirits.
Caring for seniors is difficult and emotionally complex. The tips mentioned above would help you during the process and keep your loved one safe and healthy. That said, don’t lose yourself in the process and prioritize your health and wellbeing too.