It’s inevitable that as our relatives get older, we start to worry about them. But until there is a genuine cause for concern or action, it’s important to maintain as much independence and freedom as possible for an elderly person. This doesn’t mean that we can’t help or get involved though. In fact, there are many ways that you can be proactive in caring without being overbearing on their daily life.
Here’s an introduction to some of the ways that you can act to keep a look out for them.
Assess Their Home
There are various ways in which an average home can pose risks to elderly people. From staircases to slippy showers, as limited mobility and deterioration in health affect us with age, these household features can be dangerous if they aren’t made safer. Slips, trips and falls are a common cause of injury, so take the time to assess the home of your relative if you think they might need some precautions taking.
Either you can do this yourself, or to get a professional opinion you can arrange to have a home visit from an occupational therapist. Stairlifts, handrails, emergency cords and non-slip matts can all prevent any nasty accidents.
Monitor their Wellbeing
Although we might worry about our relatives putting themselves in danger, often there are bigger causes for concern that don’t cross our mind. Especially for elderly people who live alone, loneliness and depression is one to watch out for. Try to visit or at least call your relative regularly for a chat, make sure that they have access to a TV or other activities that can entertain them. You could also consider getting them a low maintenance pet such as a cat or goldfish to keep them company.
If your relative is still able to live independently but they struggle with certain daily tasks or jobs, be it getting up and dressed in a morning or cleaning the house, they could benefit from home care. Designed to be unobtrusive but a genuine help, it’s an option to discuss with your relative if you think that they need a little assistance in their older years.
By receiving regular visits to help with routine tasks, you’ll also have another person looking out for them and checking everything is ok, as well as an element of company. Don’t be surprised if your relative doesn’t think they need any help, even if you’re pretty sure that they do need a bit of assistance. If the boot was on the other foot, you’d want to retain your dignity and freedom too.
But these three options are a good way to be proactive without stepping on their toes, to make sure they are happy, comfortable and safe in their home as they get older. So sit down over a cuppa and try to discuss your feelings with your relative, to see if they will agree to any of your suggestions. Remember you are doing this because you care and this will shine out in your conversation.
Article by Kelly Gilmour-Grassam who loves to write and often does this for Locala HomeCare.