Are you rushed off your feet with work duties, parenting responsibilities, or maybe even both? Do you have an aging relative that requires a lot of care and attention? If you want to provide your loved one with the assistance that they require and deserve, you’re going to need to find a way to overcome the hurdles that you face as a result of a busy schedule.
Caring for your aging relative in today’s hectic society is never going to be an easy task, that much is for certain, but it can be achieved. If you want to perform this all-important task in a highly efficient and effective fashion, be sure to heed the advice laid out below.
Learn how to communicate effectively with your relative
Caregiving is all about collaboration. If you fail to maintain a clear, concise, and coherent flow of communication with your elderly relative, disagreements will be sure to arise sooner rather than later. These difficulties could put the relationship that you share with your loved one under pressure, which in turn could end up damaging your family dynamic beyond repair.
Quite simply, if you want to care for your elderly relative in a loving and stress-free manner, you must learn how to communicate with them effectively. To achieve this crucial feat, you must:
- Refrain from providing advice unless it’s asked for (your elderly relative is experienced enough to make their own mind up).
- Actively listen to everything your relative has to say.
- Accept that there will be differences of opinion (you and your relative are from two incredibly different generations, at the end of the day).
- Speak clearly if your relative is hard of hearing.
- NEVER be condescending or patronizing.
- Take their mobility difficulties into account at all times.
- Ask questions about their past experiences.
Make use of video call technology
You might not be able to spend every waking hour of the day with your aging relative but, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t converse with them face-to-face. So long as your loved one has a strong web connection and knows how to use the video chat tool that they have at hand, you will have the capacity to remain in contact with them at all points in the day. Not only will this make it easier for your relative to contact you when they are in need of urgent assistance, but it will also provide them with some much-needed social interaction. This will work wonders for their mental wellbeing, which could very well see them retain a profound lust for life well into their twilight years.
For advice on the matter of helping your elderly relative to use video chat technology, be sure to check out this insightful article.
Encourage your relative to attend social gatherings
Do you want your elderly relative to retain their independence as they enter the autumn of their life? If so, it’s imperative that you encourage him or her to attend social gatherings as often as they possibly can. Human interaction is key to mental and social wellbeing, which is why you should push your loved one to see different people on a daily basis.
No matter where your loved one is based, there will no doubt be a number of social gatherings in their local area for them to attend. Here are just a few of the leisure activities that your relative will be sure to love:
- Arts & Crafts
- Bridge group
- Coffee morning
- Men in Sheds
- Photography club
- Pub lunch
- Tea dance
Enlist the assistance of other family members
If you’re lucky enough to have a big support network of family members around you, you should never be afraid to ask your other relatives to assist you with your caring duties. The more assistance you are afforded in this instance, the easier you’ll find it to care for your aging parent or grandparent, which in turn will be sure to benefit everybody involved in the end. You’ll be less likely to run yourself ragged as you attempt to juggle all of your responsibilities in life, and your elderly loved one will be more likely to receive a higher level of care and attention.
Seek expert help from professionals
Should you and your other family members struggle to provide your elderly relative with the level of support that he or she needs to retain a comfortable standard of living, you should seriously consider seeking professional help. Whether this entails you investing in the services of an in-home carer or whether it means convincing your loved one to move into a Frontier Management senior living community, taking this course of action will no doubt improve your loved one’s quality of life. As soon as they start receiving expert one-to-one assistance on a daily basis, your relative will be sure to start leading a full and rich lifestyle once again.
Go for walks with your relative
Instead of spending time indoors with your relative, step outside and go for a walk with them. Taking this course of action will benefit your loved one in a plethora of different ways: it’ll provide them with some much-needed social interaction, it’ll help them to reap the benefits of being close to nature, and it’ll push them to get physically active.
To ensure that your elderly relative remains safe and comfortable whenever they embark on outdoor walks, be sure to heed the following advice:
- Make sure your loved one wears appropriate walking shoes.
- Bring their cane, zimmer frame, or walking stick with you.
- Move at a pace that suits them (even if this means that you have to walk slower than usual).
If you have an elderly relative that requires care, for your sake as well as theirs, be sure to put all of the advice laid out above into practice.