If you have an elderly relative living with you, or you happen to visit them in the care setting where they live, you will likely want to offer them more than a simple ‘hi, how are you?’ when you see them.
Caring for elderly relatives involves addressing their physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and, as a younger family member, you can play a crucial role in ensuring their loved ones receive the care that they deserve and need to grow in their older years.
However, unless you have worked in elderly care, or you have training in nursing, you may be curious about the best ways to offer this wide range of support. After all, elderly care is very broad, and no two people are the same in what they want or need to feel good.
So, in the following article, some holistic approaches will be outlined, relating to how you can care for your elderly relatives in a fun way. Enjoy!
Whether they live at home with you or are living in Signature care homes, physical health should be at the forefront of the care. Relatives can help schedule and accompany their elderly loved ones to medical appointments. Regular check-ups enable early detection and management of health conditions.
You can also help organize medications (if they live at home), set reminders, and ensure that prescriptions are refilled on time. This helps prevent medication errors and ensures adherence to the prescribed treatment plan.
Encourage regular exercise suitable for their abilities and interests. Help with meal planning and preparation, ensuring a balanced diet. Encourage adequate hydration and assist with any necessary dietary modifications.
Also, try to create a home environment that is free from hazards, such as slippery floors or cluttered areas. Install necessary safety features like grab bars, handrails, and adequate lighting to prevent accidents.
You should encourage regular social interactions to prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness in your elderly relative. Arrange visits from friends, family, and community groups, or explore opportunities for participation in local senior centers or clubs.
Aim to engage them in activities they enjoy, such as reading, puzzles, crafts, or gardening. Stimulating their minds helps maintain cognitive function and prevents boredom. Encourage brain-boosting activities like crosswords, memory games, or learning new skills. These activities help keep the mind sharp and can delay cognitive decline. Of course, you should respect the autonomy and decision-making abilities of elderly relatives. Involve them in decisions related to their daily routines, hobbies, and social activities, promoting a sense of control and independence.
When it comes to helping your elderly relative to feel loved, be attentive and patient while listening to their concerns, fears, and joys. Offer empathy, understanding, and reassurance during difficult times with your loved one and encourage them to express their emotions and validate their feelings.
Support their engagement in activities they enjoy and find fulfilling. Of course, if you have concerns that your loved one is becoming withdrawn or isolated, then talk to the nursing team and prompt an exploration into the possible causes.