It’s never easy when it starts to seem as though an elderly relative is struggling. Whether it’s a parent, grandparent, or anyone else, there are a lot of problems that can sometimes arise as someone goes into their later years. These problems can be physical, making it hard for them to get around, or mental, causing them to struggle with their memory. Also, these kinds of things can come on all at once, or they can slowly sneak up on you. Either way, it can be difficult to know how to handle the situation. In order to help you navigate this complicated and difficult circumstance, here are a few simple pieces of advice that might help you.
Talk to them
The worst thing that you can do is to try and make decisions for your relative’s well-being without talking to them first. Not only does this take away a great deal of their agency as a person, but it can make them much less receptive to help that might actually benefit them. Talking to them should be the very first thing that you do, and it’s important to be sensitive to them. After all, they might be feeling worried about the things that are happening, or they may even refuse to accept that they’re happening at all. The important thing is never to force anything onto them that they’re not happy with. Even if you think that it’s the right thing for them, you need to remember that they should be the one to decide whether or not they really need help.
Get them the help they need
If you’ve spoken to your relative and they have agreed that they may need some kind of help and support, the next step is to actually get them that help. The kind of support that they need will obviously depend entirely on what kinds of issues they are dealing with. If they are struggling to take care of themselves, then there are plenty of home health care agencies that can offer exactly the kind of support and care that they need. But if it’s things like physical problems affecting mobility then they may also need things like physical therapy in order to help them keep their strength up as much as possible. When trying to figure out the kind of care that they need it’s a good idea that both you and your relative speak to their doctor and figure out the best possible option.
Be there for them
One thing that you really cannot underestimate is just being there for this person as much as possible. Even if they’re happy to accept the help that they need, the fact that they are losing some part of their independence can be incredibly frightening and upsetting for them. Very few people want to spend their later years being taken care of, and it’s important that you recognize the emotional impact that this can all have on them. Make sure that you’re always listening to their feelings on the matter and that you treat them with as much care and respect as they deserve.