As you age, you’re more likely to experience a whole host of different issues. These can be related to physical health, such as hearing loss and impaired mobility, as well as mental health in terms of loneliness and loss of independence. It’s important that you can take on the responsibility of caring for an elderly relative whenever they are showing signs of needing support, especially those who have cared for you in the past! Helping them to lead happier, healthier lives needn’t be as difficult as you might think, as there are a few key tips and tricks you can try to ensure your elderly relatives feel comfortable and calm.
If you’d like to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best steps that you can follow to improve an elderly relative’s life.
Eating Nutritious Meals
When people age, all sorts of things can happen to their appetite. They may lose any desire to eat, or they might find they’re spending all day snacking due to boredom. It’s vital that you encourage your elderly relatives to eat three nutritious, balanced meals each day, along with a couple of healthy snacks to keep them going. The food that they eat directly converts to fuel used for energy, repair, and growth. Therefore, allowing them to fill up on processed junk that’s high in salt, sugar, and fat will make them feel sluggish and irritable. In addition, this junk can cause more serious issues like weight gain, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
It doesn’t have to be difficult to create vitamin rich meals, as there are many simple recipes that both you and your elderly relative can follow! Include a source of lean protein, such as chicken breast or beans, complex carbohydrates such as whole pasta or brown rice, and some fresh fruit or vegetables for an extra boost.
If they struggle with making their own meals and you don’t have the time to cook each one, it’s a good idea to sign them up for a home delivery service which specializes in healthy meals for the elderly. This is a popular service, meaning there’s likely to be many providers to choose between, so be sure to do your research to find the most affordable, best quality supplier.
Adapting Their Home
There are many beneficial adaptations that can be made to an elderly relative’s home, which can help them to maintain a level of independence. This can enable them to stay within the comfort of their home for as long as possible.
Start by focusing on mobility; for example, installing grab bars on walls through corridors and around toilet areas, and investing in a stair lift if they have more than one floor to cover. Additionally, they might benefit from a chair and bed that move via a remote control connection, as these can assist the elderly in getting up to their feet without the need for human help.
Showers and baths can be a big risk area as the water increases the likelihood for slips, trips and falls, so you may wish to install a foldaway chair that will allow them to stay safely seated whilst washing. It may also be beneficial to add a few extra sources of entertainment for your elderly relative to stay occupied, such as a television, radio or telephone.
Unfortunately, one big problem that many elderly people face is staying social. It can be extremely isolating to spend days sitting at home with no one to talk to, and no way to go outdoors without the risk of falling or potentially getting lost. Staying social is key when seeking to maintain optimum mental health, as a lack of socialization can encourage all manner of issues, from forgetfulness to low mood (if we’ve learned anything from this pandemic, it’s this).
Helping your elderly relative stay social doesn’t need to be difficult, as there are many different options to explore that can help them to stay in contact with the outside world. For example, providing them with a phone and a basic written instructions will allow them to call family and friends whenever they wish to. This can also be beneficial in the case of emergency, as they will know how to call the police or ambulance service should an accident or injury ever occur.
If you’re not able to visit every day, then organize for another family member or friend to pop round whenever they have time – even spending half an hour with your elderly relative to enjoy a hot drink and a chat can change their day completely. Whenever feasible, take them out with you to social events and general day trips, even if it’s just a slow walk around the neighborhood.
Sourcing Specialist Care
There may come a time when your elderly relative requires special care to enable them to maintain optimum health, and it’s important that you can accommodate their needs in this respect. If they can no longer care for themselves at home, you may need to get in contact with a nursing home that can provide around the clock care and attention, with different providers specializing in different areas.
There are homes specifically made for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, as well as religious establishments like the Catholic Care Center that can meet spiritual needs too, so it’s a good idea to do a little research in order to find the best match for your elderly relative. Take them to visit the home before you decide together on which one suits their requirements, as it’s a big move that needs a lot of thought and consideration.
Helping elderly relatives to lead happy and healthy lives has never been so simple when you are able to utilize the tips and tricks detailed above. It’s vital that you can take on the responsibility of caring for your loved ones during their time of need, and the steps above make it easy to encourage them to feel as comfortable as possible.
•Do you have any recommendations for caring for elderly relatives?
Thank you for reading!