Keeping Mum: Dealing With An Elderly Relative
Deciding how to look after an elderly relative can be difficult. Often, they want to maintain their independence but they might not be safe on their own. Loneliness is another big problem amongst the elderly, so although they might be capable of looking after themselves, being at home alone is still not always the best thing for them. You have a few possible solutions to the problem, but there are pros and cons to each one. If you are struggling to decide how best to care for an elderly relative, here is some good advice.
Staying At Home
If your relatives are capable of caring for themselves, and would like to stay in their own home, the this is fine. But you need to be aware that they might be lonely. If they are going to stay in their own home, make sure that you see them regularly. Visit them in person as often as possible, so that they don’t feel isolated. If you can’t make it out to them in person, speak to them on the phone at the very least.
Taking them out for the day at weekends is also a good idea. You might not realise it, but if your relative is no longer working, they may not get out of the house at all for days at a time. This can really add to feelings of isolation and make them feel as though they are not a functioning member of society. Days out don’t need to be anything too elaborate, just getting out of the house for a while will really make a difference.
Look for local community groups that they could join. There are plenty of events out there that are aimed at the elderly. This way, they can still get out on their own when you aren’t around, and they can spend time with other people their age.
Assisted Living Communities
A lot of people think that their only option is to put their relatives in a care home. This is sometimes the best choice if they require a lot of care and attention. But if your elderly relatives are still fairly independent, but perhaps just need somebody to keep an eye on them, then assisted living is a good way to go. You would be surprised at the low cost of senior care in some of these communities. Your loved one will still be able to keep their independence, but they will have somebody there if they have any problems, so you can sleep easy knowing that they are safe.
Living With You
Deciding to move an elderly relative into your home is a big decision to make, and it does not work for everybody. If everybody else in the house has a busy schedule, or you have young children, it might be a bit overwhelming for an elderly person living with you. If they need round the clock care, you need to decide whether that is something you can commit to. If you can afford for a member of the family to give up work to look after them, then this situation will work out. If not, it is best to look at other options.