Growing old is a part of life. It feels real when older people start losing their independence due to their rising need for care, attention, and constant help. They indulge themselves in constant fear of becoming dependent on others without realizing that it is not a bad thing but a natural one.
If you have elderly people around you, you should help them shoot out all these fears by being there for them. Start small by feeling free to talk to them, ask about their day, or give some tasks to keep them busy. Rather than thinking about their illness all day, this way, they would spend their time doing something productive. Besides, it is the feeling of empathy that can make you care for them.
The following are some of the tips you need to know about caring for the elderly:
1. They Want Time & Attention
Elderly people can feel vulnerable due to losing control. Your parents and grandparents might have been a part of every critical decision concerning the family until they were fit and fine. Now, things are a lot more different, due to their old age, you refrain from discussing anything crucial with them, and they can feel this change.
You can compensate for it by devoting your time and attention to them. Even if they are at an aged care support services, you can pay them a visit on your way back from work. They may have made some friends in the old home, but the place of a family is irreplaceable. In case you have parents or grandparents in old age homes, don’t forget to pay them regular visits.
Spending time doesn’t mean you have to start making their bed or putting things together. It can be a random conversation. You can shed some light on how your day went, what happened at work, or even ask what they would like to have for dinner. Keep it as casual as possible.
2. Make Them Feel Important
Usually, elderly people feel useless since they can’t help themselves. Rather than letting them drown in this feeling, you have to take them out and make them feel alive. Believe it or not, but it requires minimal effort. Your healthy interactions are enough to make them feel happy and important.
Don’t mind taking them out for a walk and introduce them to people. It can make elderly people feel good about themselves. Besides, they might not be fit enough to perform household chores, but you have to make them a part of everything. For instance – while working in the kitchen, ask them to pass some ingredients.
Similarly, let them do their own thing until they ask for help. After all, no one likes sitting idle while seeing others be busy all the time.
3. Cope Up with Eating Problems
Indeed, elderly people star developing some serious eating problems with age. Some lose their teeth, and dentures are not supportive enough to chew anything hard. Thus, you have to prepare soft foods for them. Besides, most of the elderly people have cholesterol and blood pressure issues, which hinders any salt consumption. Similarly, diabetes limits sugary foods. So, you have to prepare food accordingly.
Above all, aged people often don’t feel like having healthy food at all. They would end up making excuses on how they are not hungry, but you have to make sure that there is no negligence with their diet. Besides, you can come up with some amazing ideas to get them to eat healthily, treat them with some snacks weekly, and allow them to have a cheat meal once in a while. This brings them some contentment and boosts their morale.
4. Ensure Privacy
Elderly people might need help with almost everything, but ensuring privacy is a must. It is all about some small gestures, like knocking the door before entering their room or not unnecessarily searching their drawers for medicines and creating a chaotic scene. It makes elderly people feel as if they have lost control over everything. Instead, it would be best if you let their caretakers professionally handle all of it.
You can talk to them as your friend or companion, and allow them to open up, by ensuring yourself as a secret keeper. Growing old brings a lot of thoughts in your head. Because of this, they might reveal some things to you, but this doesn’t mean that everyone needs to know about it. Elderly people might be vulnerable, but privacy is their basic human right.
5. Patience is Virtue
Dealing with elderly people is not a piece of cake. You will come across numerous mood swings and some unpleasing habits. Nonetheless, you have to be patient and polite all the time. Some days they can resist taking medicines or going for regular medical checkups. Instead of using a harsh tone, you have to learn the art of convincing and persuading.
If you come across aged people with Alzheimer’s, things can get worse. They can bug you constantly with the same questions. But it is your job to field the questions sympathetically. Most of the elderly people suffer from hearing issues. However, not all of them have the luxury of having a hearing aid. Therefore you need to develop the habit of speaking loudly.
Surprisingly, when a person starts to age, they start behaving like kids, and you might have to care for them like one but without any strictness. Remember, your patience would be tested now and then, but you have to carry on with a positive attitude.
6. Requires Constant Supervision
You must have come across elderly people claiming to be self-sufficient, and closing doors for any extra help. But the fact of the matter is that they need constant supervision if not help. You can’t let them be on their own because a minor foot slip can helm various bone injuries. After all, bones and muscles weaken with age.
To stay away from any risky situations, you can help them while they are getting up and down the stairs, walking on slippery tiles, or while doing any activity like cleaning up their room. It is better if you ask for their permission beforehand. Despite utter resistance for supervision, you have to help and supervise them, either yourself or by hiring any caretaker.
Old age is not as happening as your younger years because, with age, everything in the body starts to grow old. Bones, muscles, lungs, among other parts of your body, become on the verge of giving up. This is why elderly people become sensitive and go through numerous feelings. At this sensitive and fragile time of their lives, they need their families the most. They may hesitate because of their pride or be unwilling to depend on somebody. As a result, they might not portray it, but they do need someone to take care of them. In case this sounds familiar to you, take a look at all, you need to know about caring for the elderly mentioned above and try incorporating it day after day.