Looking After An Elderly Relative – What To Do, What To Know


As we move on in life, we become more responsible for those we love. As your relatives age, and you along with them, you may need to lend a helping hand once in awhile. Health conditions all come at varying and unpredictable rates, and sometimes they don’t come at all. When they do however, you might find yourself undertaking the role of carer, or frequent visitor to care for your loved one. If this happens, it’s important to know what to do. This article should help you if you’ve recently been thrust into this situation:


Become Intimate With Their Medication

You need to know their medication needs. Speak to their healthcare professional when they attend their appointments if you can. You’ll be given explicit instructions to regulate their medicinal doses. If they aren’t in the right frame of mind or have trouble forgetting which they have taken, it can be instructive to oversee this. Consider purchasing small pill boxes you can portion the full daily intake in, as this will help you remember. Knowing their medication is not limited to how often you should supply them with it, it’s also important to understand how it works, and what the purpose of taking it is. It’s also important to keep a close eye on how your relative reacts to the medication. If they react badly, then you’ll be able to identify which part is causing them trouble and bring that information up to their doctor.


Be Present

Most of caring is simply being present, and it’s not always explicit medical or functional help. Sometimes a listening ear, a calm word or a softly spoken sentence of encouragement can make all the difference when struggling. It lets someone know they are never alone, and sometimes that is enough for them to get through the worst.


Know When To Seek Professional Care

Sometimes the scope of your caring is not enough. It’s certain that emotionally, you’d wish you could help them through every small issue they have. This is especially true if you see your relatives conditions deteriorating over time. If that happens, especially if it’s the cause of an onset neurological condition such as dementia, finding dementia care services promptly can help them receive that element of professional help which is so important in managing a difficult condition. Try to understand, no matter how difficult it is, that sometimes the best intentions are not enough, and a professional hand is.


Allow Agency

While some people need round the clock care, many elderly people still enjoy exercising a degree of care over their lives. They are still people, often people with wise and rich internal lives. It would be a mistake to treat them like a child simply because their body isn’t as obedient as it was. Learn about them, allow them their personal freedoms, and enjoy your time with them. You could learn more than you initially thought. Remember, elderly people, do not exist in a static form. They weren’t always elderly. To get there they have lived a full life, one with joys and sadness. Allow them their dignity in old age, even when they need care, and you’ll exercise a better relationship for the both of you.

With these tips, your caring considerations will be effective, and even enjoyable for both sides of the relationship.

Speak Your Mind