Caring for your elderly loved ones requires a lot of planning and understanding. It is something that may happen to most of us at some point in our life. Whereby, the mantle of caregiver falls onto our shoulders. If it happens, caring for elderly loved ones will probably create big changes in your personal life. Sometimes it can also be physically and mentally draining, especially if the responsibility is suddenly thrust onto you.
But caring for elderly at home doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some tips to help reduce the load and decrease stress.
Understanding Their Needs
Any easy way to know what your elderly loved one’s needs are is to ask them. Have an open conversation to decide what needs they require assistance in. Unless they are severely incapacitated, your elderly loved ones should play a role in discussions regarding their care.
If you’re are already in the process of caring for your elderly, take notes of the tasks that was done for them. After a week, you can review all these tasks and get a clearer overview of what they need help with. With this information, you can begin planning when and what needs to be done. Using this organised method ensures that you are in control. It can also help with reducing stress and lets you know when your elderly requires assistance. Additionally, you can consider using an online scheduling tool like Lotsa Helping Hands to keep track of what needs to be done.
If the responsibility of caring for your elderly falls on your shoulders, it doesn’t mean you should face it alone. Doing that will only create more stress and overextending yourself. To alleviate the workload, get some help! Get your immediate family members like siblings to play a part in the daily routine of caregiving. Make sure to give them a copy of the plan and schedule so those involved can know what task your elderly needs help with.
But don’t just stop there. You can also enlist help from your friends, relatives or neighbours. They don’t have to be part of the daily caregiving routine for your elderly. Consider delegating minor errands to them like picking up prescriptions or even keeping your elderly company for a while.
Additionally, consider enrolling your elderly loved one in an adult day care centre. These centres can not only provide professional care but also opportunities for socializing, giving you a much-needed rest. You can also sign your elderly up for senior companion programmes and provide them with companionship when you are not at home.
Falls are one of the most dangerous and common accidents that can occur when caring for your elderly loved ones. According to Health Promotions Board Singapore, one-third of senior citizens above 60 have recurring falls. Therefore, identifying potential hazards in your elderly’s home that causes falls should be one of your top priorities.
Here are some safety tips to consider:
- Removing throw rugs and taping down larger rugs
- Make sure that all rooms have adequate lighting
- Install handrails in bathrooms or hallways
- Place anti-slip mats in bathrooms
- Keep common use items in easy to reach places
- Ensure electrical cords are not in the way
Another important tip is to ensure that your elders are healthy. Physical activities and exercises are great ways to maintain their health. As it is known that seniors who regularly exercise are better protected against diseases. So, start looking for ways to help your elderly stay active as much as their condition allows! You can try evening walks with your elderly loved ones, which is also an excellent way of spending time together.
In addition, routine monitoring of your elderly’s vital sign is essential to know whether they are healthy. As vital sign measurements can act as a reflection of key body functions. If there are changes to your elderly’s vital signs, it can be an indicator of underlying health issues, letting you take actions earlier.