As our loved ones get older, it’s important to do what we can to support them. This will often mean something different for everyone, and it will come down to the individuals a lot of the time. Understanding the support that’s needed is certainly part of the process, but there is more to think about. Read on to find out more.
Ask Them What They Need
If you want to support your elderly relatives you might not know where to start. If you just try to guess, you could make changes that are necessary or that upset your loved one rather than helping them. Therefore, it makes sense to ask them what support they actually need. It could be that they know precisely where they are struggling and are happy to ask for help.
Perhaps they find it hard to drive now, so a lift to the supermarket once a week would be beneficial. Maybe they wish they could get out more, maybe it’s the housework that’s a problem, or perhaps they feel lonely. If they know where support is needed, you can easily give it to them.
If they don’t know or don’t want to say anything, just make some suggestions. Thinking about the supermarket idea again, you might say you are going to the shop and ask them if they want to come or if you can get them anything. Eventually, you’ll find the ideal solution.
Make Their Home Safe
It might be that you can already tell what support you need to offer your elderly relatives, and if their home is potentially unsafe, this will certainly be on your list. As we get older, our mobility can be affected, and our eyesight can deteriorate. This can mean that getting around in our own homes becomes more difficult, even if we have lived there for decades.
To support your elderly relatives, you might make their home safer for them. This could include putting up handrails in the bathroom or installing a shower with a seat rather than a bath. You could install voice-activated controls for lighting and perhaps put in some alarms in case of an accident – they would call someone to help right away. It might be that your loved one is unable to live in their home anymore, and in this case, the support you can offer will be linked to finding a good care home that has not been subject to nursing home abuse problems and helping them move in.
Sometimes there is nothing physically or cognitively amiss with your elderly relative. Although health conditions are more likely to occur when you are older, it’s not set in stone, and it’s not something that happens to everyone. It could be that your relative is entirely healthy, and yet they still might need your support.
This support could come in the form of just staying connected with them. By phoning regularly, sending an email updating them on everything that is happening in your life, or perhaps video calling once a week, you can make your relative very happy and support them in a way you might not have considered before.