Caring for the Elderly: What You Need to Know

Caring for the elderly can be incredibly challenging. It is vital that you are aware of what skills and requirements you will need beforehand, so you can be well prepared and ready to help. There are a variety of ways to care for the elderly, including looking after them in their own home or moving them into a residential home. No matter whether you are caring for an elderly resident or a loved one, here is a guide to help you understand what will be required of you to ensure they receive the best care possible.

Thorough Planning

As part of life, many children will have to set up or provide care for their parents once they become elderly. Planning is vital in helping solve issues before a situation turns into a last-minute emergency. Making a home safe and secure for elderly people beforehand and using the latest technology can be incredibly beneficial and ensure you are well prepared. Always make sure that you are prepared for an emergency. Taking simple steps such as preparing a first aid kit that can be put in a home, as well as having a list of emergency phone numbers can ensure your elderly person is safe and sound. There are also many technologies that can help you keep track of the elderly, such as a GPS tracker and a medicine box that will light up when medicines need to be taken.

Keeping Them Active

Having regular exercise can bring many health benefits to older people and protect them from diseases, as well as reducing their functional age by up to 15 years. Keeping active can also delay the need for any care and help the elderly retain as much independence as possible. It is recommended that older people undertake 30 minutes of moderate activity a day, which can include walking, biking, running, or swimming. For those who do more intense workouts and activities, the recommended time should be 20 minutes per day. You will need to access and understand what your senior can physically do and you should never force exercise on them if they are not feeling up to it that day.

Mental and Physical Health

If the elderly person you are looking after is in any physical pain, it is best to take them to see the doctor. Make sure to watch out for any signs of forgetfulness, weakness, or if you feel they are not like they used to be. An elderly person’s mental health is just as important, so it is vital you are aware of signs of depression, which can include having a lack of interest as well as feeling down and sad.

Home Care

If you feel that you are not up to the job for caring for your elder and you are hesitant to put them in a senior home, it could be worth looking into choosing a home caregiver who will be able to assist your elderly person with the physical care they need. Having a caregiver at home can take a lot of the burden off yourself and family members, and it is reassuring to know they are in safe hands when you are not there. Also, having someone who can assist your senior in their home can restore and retain the independence they want. Before you choose a home caregiver, make sure that you let your elderly person know what is going to happen.

Senior Residential Home

If a home caregiver is not an option or you feel the elderly person needs more assistance, you will need to investigate a senior living home that can provide around the clock care for your loved one. Knowing your loved one is well cared for throughout the day and night and is in a safe environment can put your mind at ease. Never feel guilty or ashamed for putting an elderly person in a senior living home. In the long run, you are doing what is best for your loved one and eliminating any risk of injury or harm that they could endure should they be alone at home.

Be Respectful

It is important that you are always respectful to the elderly. Just because they have aged and may be losing their physical and mental health does not mean that they are any less of a human being. The elderly still have emotions and ideas, so do not judge them by the condition they are in. Be on hand to offer support and always take the time to listen to their needs and worries. Aging is a natural part of life and will bring a variety of challenges that may prove stressful for your loved one, so reassuring them that you are there can help them feel happy and safe.

Prepare for Resistance

One of the biggest challenges you will face when caring for an elderly person is them resisting your help. It can be incredibly hard for an elderly person to accept any help or guidance, as they will want to keep hold of their independence for as long as possible. When an elderly person begins to decline in their physical and mental health, this can lead them to feel scared and vulnerable, so you will need to be able to relate on their level. This will help you to provide the appropriate care and help.

Specialist Equipment

Once an elderly person begins declining in their health, they may need to use specialist equipment. Having equipment can help in their day to day life and they will be able to perform tasks much easier. Visiting websites like Green Trousers can provide you with more information on the types of equipment available, such as a hoist, and how they are implemented into a care routine.

You should always remember that caring for the elderly is not an easy task and takes a lot of patience, care, and planning. If you are interested in pursuing a career in elderly care, make sure that you speak to an education advisor who will be able to assist you with your needs and find relevant training programs or courses for you in your local area.

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