Earlier this year, Pete and I both celebrated octogenarians in our families, with his Dad turning 80 and my mum’s husband also turning 80. It’s amazing how different life is for older generations now – none of my grandparents lived to see 80 but it now feels as though this is relatively normal and youthful age.
That said, aging is a natural part of life. Most aging loved ones do not need assistance and are usually busy helping others or contributing to their families and communities in different ways. They may, however, need some help as they start losing their independence or having issues handling various tasks. When they do, the responsibility of providing the care they need usually falls to their loved ones. Here are some suggestions to help caregivers understand the types of care their loved one may need and how to provide it.
Help Them with Daily Tasks
Many seniors need help with daily tasks, including shopping, finances, home maintenance, meal preparation, managing transportation, and ensuring all their affairs are in order. You can become their primary caregiver if you have the time and opportunity.
You can also arrange for them to receive care and assistance from a professional. Remember that the type of help they need will determine the services you need to arrange. It is also best to find someone who can tailor their services to your loved one’s unique needs.
Isolation is common among older people who may no longer have their friends and family around them. It can lead to stress and depression, and these are outcomes that should be avoided at all costs. Ensuring your loved one has a community around them is crucial for eliminating this isolation and its negative effects.
You can find a community for your loved ones in different places. For example, you can encourage them to join a gym tailored to the elderly. In addition to getting the benefits of working out, they will meet people they can spend time with.
It is also a good idea to find an assisted living community for your loved one. Additional benefits of doing this include knowing your family member is surrounded by professionals who will care for them and provide any assistance they need when they need it.
If your loved one opts to age in place instead of moving to assisted living, you need to consider where their housing arrangement is right for them. It is vital to do this because it affects their quality of life, safety, and other people’s ability to provide the care they need. You should also consider whether moving in with them or having them move in with you could be necessary.
Even though your loved one is the one in need of care, you should also learn to take care of yourself. There are significant concerns about caregivers who experience burnout due to not caring for themselves.
Burnout will affect your health and make it more challenging to care for your aging loved one. It can also strain your relationship, which can be damaging for all parties. You can find a support group, set boundaries, ask for help, and learn strategies to prioritize and organize whatever they have going on.
Caring for an aging loved one is an excellent way of giving back to them. Done right, it can make their lives fuller and more comfortable. Find solutions that work for both of you to ensure the best outcomes, and do not forget to take care of yourself.
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