Healthy Living

Top Care Tips for Older People

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It can be challenging when you have an older person in your life who needs care; they might require medical care or some lifestyle assistance due to mobility issues. Either way, they will need regular attention from you or a healthcare provider to ensure they have the best quality of life.  

In this post, we look at some of the ways you can make your life as a caregiver easier while also providing a better quality of life for your loved one. These include home care, coordinating healthcare services, and giving them back some organizational autonomy.  

Care for them at home

Although it’s not always possible, caring for your older relative in the comfort of their home is always recommended. Their home is a familiar place, which helps support recovery and improves their quality of life. In addition, you can support them with home visits and telehealth appointments.  Some people choose to have in home care services rather than moving into a care home environment when they get older. Others are perfectly happy to move into a retirement village and see how much of a difference could be made to their future. Either way, caring at home has plenty of benefits.

Of course, home care is not always possible, and sometimes a care home or hospital is required. If this is the case, remember to make their new surroundings as familiar and home-like as possible. Surround your relative with familiar photographs and visit them often.

Coordinate your relatives care  

One thing you want to avoid is the feeling that your relative is being neglected. They may already have this worry since they are an older person with less of a stake in society, and you are younger and busy with your life. Coordinated healthcare can help. 

Whether formal or informal, coordinate your relatives care so they are regularly looked after and receive the attention they need. For example, your relative will require regular visits from a health care physician and home visits from you for cleaning and shopping services.

Give them autonomy 

Getting older is a challenging time; people start to lose their sense of autonomy, first because they can no longer perform the tasks they once carried out with ease, and second because they become overreliant on other people for basic services. 

Where possible, give your loved ones their autonomy back by providing them with opportunities to make decisions about their primary care needs. For example, involve them in the process of the care schedule and let them decide on the best times for visits. 

Promote social inclusion opportunities

Isolation is a major challenge for older people, and it’s usually a central concern for their loved ones and carers. Without regular social interaction with friends and peers, it can contribute to mental and emotional distress that doesn’t help with medical conditions.  

The good news is that social interaction is much easier today than it was in the past. Using digital platforms, older people can interact with friends and relatives from the comfort of their homes and don’t have to risk traveling outside where there are obstacles and poor weather. 

Look into insurance plans

If you haven’t thought about an insurance plan for your relative’s care before, now could be a good time to look into it. People are not always aware of the insurance options available for their loved ones, but investing in a plan can help significantly. 

An insurance plan can provide the financial backing required at key times in your relative’s care. In addition, it takes the pressure off caregivers and your older relative. Without the stress of funding the healthcare or the home, it’s easier to manage an older person’s lifestyle. 

Look after caregivers

Often overlooked, caregivers need attention too. Your relative’s caregivers might be a family member who spends a lot of time with your elderly relative cooking, cleaning, chatting, and taking them to social events. These caregivers also need a break. 

Encourage your caregiver to take some time off and go on vacation or encourage them to do something for themselves from time to time. There are also support networks you can use and rejuvenating activities such as spending time in a healthcare spa. 

Final thoughts  

Looking after older relatives can be a full-time occupation, especially if they have a chronic long-term healthcare issue. Of course, it’s always best if they can remain at home, but even if this is possible, it still isn’t always easy. First, you have to find healthcare providers to assist with cooking, cleaning, and socializing. 

While it can be an ongoing challenge to care for older people, some tips can make life easier for you and better for them. First, try to create a home-like environment for your loved one, even if it’s in a care home. Then, coordinate caregiving activities so they don’t feel isolated and give them autonomy when organizing the caregiving schedule. 

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Karla Urwitz

As a full-time career oriented mother of one, I love all things travel. I was in the hospitality business for 15 years and loved it. So why not become a travel agent. So I am trying to find my balance in life through being a parent to a teenager, my love of travel, and living the best life possible. Come join me on this bumpy journey of life.
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