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When it comes to caring for elderly loved ones, it’s crucial to have the right information and the proper resources. If you or a family member are responsible for looking after an aging parent or close relative, you should know that seniors’ needs differ from those of children and regular adults.
What Is Elderly Care?
Aging is life’s natural process that every individual undergoes. The aging process is all about change, which some of our elderly loved ones may have difficulty adapting to. Elderly care encompasses the different aspects of caring for senior individuals. It’s also referred to as elder care or aged care. Elderly care is crucial because seniors have special needs that must be addressed to improve their quality of life. If you have seniors in your care, remember that old age is not easy for some, and most need understanding during this sensitive phase.
4 Ways To Look Out For Loved Ones In Their Senior Years
You may need to provide a safe home for your elderly loved ones, find a suitable doctor to address health concerns, and more. There are different ways to look out for elderly loved ones, and the following tips provide insights on the best ways to care for aging family members and relatives:
1. Create A Safe Haven
Many homes are not designed in a way that will accommodate senior family members. A safe and conducive living space for your elders is crucial if they stay at home with you, in their home, or at a nursing home. There may be some major and plenty of minor renovations to consider to create a living space that’s more habitable for an older relative. Replacing the house’s entire flooring may not be a feasible option for many people caring for their elderly. However, some modifications may be made to make the house more senior-friendly:
- Installing additional lighting in all areas means putting motion-sensor lights on stairs, ramps, and hallways.
- Use slip-proof floor matting if it’s not possible to modify the home flooring. Strategically placed grab bars can also help prevent slip-and-fall accidents.
- Widen doorways and install assistive seating in the home.
- Use medical alert systems to help monitor elders left at home.
If your elderly loved ones are going to reside in a nursing home, take time to assess the facilities to ensure they have the adequate tools and instruments for your loved ones to stay safe and comfortable.
2. Be Ready For Medical Emergencies
Emergency preparedness is crucial when you have elderly relatives and young children under your care. What you can do at the moment an emergency happens can be a matter of life and death. For example, you can opt to get certified in ACLS or PALS, known as Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, or Pediatric Advanced Life Support, respectively. It’s also crucial to brief the other family members on what can be done when a medical situation arises, including building a first-aid kit for seniors. This emergency kit should include home medical equipment, emergency medication, vital health information of the elderly individuals, and contact information of hospitals, doctors, etc.
3. Provide The Right Medical Care
Besides preparing for emergencies and modifying the home to make it safer for elderly relatives, you must ensure that their health is managed well by a geriatric specialist. Older adults may start to experience some medical conditions that can affect them physically and mentally. Hearing loss is just one of the most common problems linked to aging, but can easily be treated with hearing aids for seniors. Scout for a reliable geriatrician and bring your parents with you for assessment. You will know if you find the right fit if your elders are comfortable relaying their concerns, and the doctor exhibits sincere interest in their medical issues. The geriatrician, the primary care provider, should make sound recommendations to address and resolve pressing health concerns.
4. Give Loving Support
Aging loved ones should not feel like they’re burdening family members. However, it’s crucial to strike a balance when caring for elderly relatives, whether at home or outside. If you are your elderly parents’ primary caregiver, speak to the other family members to help out with the bills, care duties, and visits.
Looking out for your elderly loved ones may be challenging initially, but it shouldn’t be complicated. It’s important to recognize aging relatives’ needs, so they don’t feel neglected or disregarded. In some cases, some seniors may appear withdrawn or even resist your help. Caring for their emotional and mental state is just as important as caring for their physical health needs. Take the opportunity to care for your parents and elderly loved ones as a chance to spend quality time with them.