With the elderly population expected to reach 426 million by the year 2050, you might be in a new season of your life where your loved one is in their elderly chapter in their lives. If they do not need to be 100% taken care of there are ways to help them take care of themselves.
We put together our top tips on how you can help your loved one with this independence. Keep reading to see how you can help your elderly loved one live as independently as possible.
If your loved one doesn’t have the energy to shop anymore, look into home delivery services that will bring the groceries right to their doorstep. You can also meal prep for your loved one if you have the time and all they have to do is warm up their meals when they are hungry.
Keep nutrition in mind because many elderly are prone to malnutrition because they eat anything just to feel full, but it might not have any nutritional value.
Another option is to check if there are meals served at a nearby senior center or in a local church. If so, you can either drive them to the centers or see if they offer delivery if they can’t go on their own. There are also government programs that deliver free hot meals to those that can’t cook on their own.
2. Personal Care
You want to make sure that your loved one’s home is safe enough for them to take care of themselves. Install rails and grab bars in the tubs, shower, and toilet areas. Also, ensure they can bathe, wash their hair, and get dressed on their own.
If they reach a point where they are having trouble taking care of their personal hygiene you can offer to help or hire a trained aide for a couple of hours per day that comes to their home to help. You can also look into aged care services at estiahealth.com.au where you have part-time assistance while you are busy or working. The bonus of respite care is that this is not full time and you only pay for the times you need help.
Something else you want to keep in mind is socializing with your loved one. The last thing you need is for them to go into a state of depression because they are lonely. Look for a local senior center that offers activities such as card games, bingo, etc.
If they have a hard time leaving the home then look to see if there are volunteer programs in the area that come to visit the elderly and spend time with them. Staying social is important for your loved one’s mental and emotional health.
Moving the body is imperative to help reduce the risk of chronic health conditions. Encourage your loved one to walk for at least 15 minutes every day to get their heart rate up.
If you have the time work out with your elderly loved one and use this as a bonding activity.
Seniors need just as much sleep as younger adults, so you need to encourage them to have a good night’s sleep. Make sure you help with good sleep hygiene by making sure the room is comfortable and the bed sheets are clean.
Nowadays, you can also use the help of technology to help your loved one live independently. One option is to install smart home monitoring systems like doorbells, cameras, smart refrigerators, and medical monitoring. You can also have your loved one wear a medical alert system where you and the emergency hotline are informed in the event of an accident or emergency.
Install motion-censored lights to help your loved one walk around the home at night without having to look for light switches in the dark.
Ready to Help Your Elderly Loved One?
Now it is time to make your elderly loved one feel confident living through this new chapter in their lives. Please do not ever forget that once upon a time your loved one didn’t need help, so this period in their lives is going to take a bit of adapting.
Also, please always remember to care for yourself as well. You do not want to find yourself resenting your loved one or being overly stressed about the changes in your life.
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