Do you have elderly relatives? Maybe your mom and dad are enjoying their retirement, or you have elderly aunts and uncles; or depending on your age, grandparents and great aunts and uncles who are getting on in years. It can be a cause of concern if you notice signs that your beloved senior family members are becoming less able in their older age, and it can often be tricky wondering how best to help and support them.
Loss of independence is something older people dread, and they’ll often refuse to admit they’re having any problems at all rather than ask for help, because they don’t want their younger family members to think they can’t manage. Make sure they know you want to help and have no intention of taking away their freedoms, that in fact you want to do everything you can to help them stay at home as long as possible.
You or other family members might be in a position where you could help out, or you might want to seek assistance from an agency like InHomeCare, which specializes in finding the right in-home care solutions for seniors who wish to stay in their homes. Care services provide experienced, qualified staff to give each client the assistance they need, whether they require very little care or more extensive support.
You might still find that your relative is resisting the change, for example you arrange for someone to come in and cook their evening meal, only to find that your loved one has prepared it themselves before the carer arrives. If they’re able to cook safely, maybe their care needs are more pressing in other areas.However, if they’re stubbornly carrying on preparing meals because they feel uncomfortable with having help, you might want to have a conversation with them.
Try to be positive and don’t make it sound like you’re disrespecting them or it might make everything worse. The bottom line is that you can’t force them to accept help; but you can do your best to help them see why it’s to their advantage to accept support.
Another problem that can come with older age is social isolation, where your family member isn’t having social interactions and becomes almost a shut-in, going for days and weeks without seeing anyone. Encourage them to keep getting out and about as much as they’re able, mixing with neighbors and friends, and perhaps joining a community group.
Whatever time you’re able to spend with your elderly relatives is a great way to keep them socialized and enthusiastic, and you can gain a great deal from spending time with people who’ve lived through some of history’s most significant events. You can pop in for a cup of coffee now and then, take them out to the store, or ask them to record a living history of their life for the family.
You can gain a great deal yourself from spending time with elderly relatives, so don’t be shy; give your relative a call today.