Whether you have opened your arms and your home to your elderly parent and don’t want to make them move into a care home or are the only person your neighbor sees through the week, you have come to the right place.
Continue reading to discover four key pieces of advice when caring for an elderly loved one.
1. Give Them as Much Independence as Possible
First and foremost, as the most important thing in anyone’s life, regardless of age, lifestyle, mobility, or cognitive ability, is freedom, it is essential, even if your elderly loved one is living with dementia or another debilitating illness, to afford them as much independence and freedom as possible.
Even little things, such as letting them choose their clothes for the day, what they are going to eat, and even what to do if you do not agree with the decision, are so important, not only on a moralistic basis but also to ensure they stay healthy and happy for as long as possible.
2. Support & Encourage an Active Social Life
It is almost universally true that nobody has as many friends in older age as they did when they were at school, but hopefully, your elderly loved one has one or two close friends who they see on a regular or even semi-regular basis.
If they have, then encourage them to see or even just call their friends, especially when they have been busy in their home for a few days and have not left the house. The core issue with spending too much time alone is that your brain begins to tell you it is what you want, but isolation and loneliness can creep up on them.
You may want to consider overnight care on a wholly temporary basis, for example, if they are recovering from hip surgery or another medical procedure, or you could instead choose to arrange overnight care on a more permanent basis.
4. Spend Time Outdoors
The range of advantages to spending time in the great outdoors and surrounding yourself with nature cannot be overstated, and enjoying a day with your aging loved one in the local park, woods, or even in the back garden will benefit both of you immeasurably.
Not only does getting just twenty minutes of fresh air give your loved one the ability to exercise physically, but it will also boost their mood, give them more energy, reduce their feelings of stress and anxiety, and is also a fantastic source of Vitamin D.
Additionally, encouraging your older loved one to spend time outdoors, even for a quick walk around the block, will also help to improve both the duration and quality of their sleep.