At some point in your life, it’s very likely that you will find yourself in the position of caring for an elderly relative. If you do find yourself in this situation, it’s important that you’re fully prepared so you can provide the best quality of care possible from home. It may be that you’re now able to provide the type of full-time care for your parent that they gave you throughout your childhood, so it should be a special time worth treasuring. Use these tips to ensure that you’re ready to care for your relative in the manner they deserve.
- Have medical equipment in the home. Depending on the health of your relative, they may require fairly consistent medical monitoring to keep an eye on their physical wellbeing. If you want to avoid frequent trips to the doctor, it’s worth buying some basic medical equipment you can use at home to monitor their health. A bp monitor will allow you to check their blood pressure if they have ongoing heart problems or dizziness, and medicine organisation containers will make it easier to keep track of their daily medications without confusion.
- Make use of mobility aids. If your relative has trouble getting around the house, then a walker or wheelchair could be a huge help for them. Help them find the mobility aids that suit their needs and apply for assistance if you’re unable to cover the costs yourself. You may also want to install grab bars in your bathroom so they can use the facilities without excessive assistances, as well as anti-slip mats and heat-monitoring devices for your bath and shower.
- Be sure you can provide the care that’s needed. While it’s certainly noble to offer to care for an ageing relative, make sure you have the necessary resources and knowledge to meet their needs. For example, an elderly person with severe physical illness may need daily medical care that you simple can’t offer from your home. Someone with Alzheimer’s may need specialist nursing support that you’re not qualified to give. Plan to consult with your relative’s caregivers to ensure that they’re in the best possible circumstances for their current health status.
- Get extra help. In some cases, a middle ground needs to be found between home support and specialist health If you have the financial means, hiring a nurse or companion can be a major help. They’ll be able to focus on your relative and make sure they have everything they need without taking them out of the comfort of the family home. This will also give you the time and space to get on with your other responsibilities.
- Encourage activity. Staying physically and mentally active is essential as a person ages. Encourage your relative to get up and move around as often as they are able, and include them in family activities so they’re consistently involved with everyday living in your home. Make sure they have stimulating activities to keep them ‘switched on’ and entertained throughout their day, and make conversation often so they have the opportunity to talk and connect with others. If they have friends or family members who live nearby, encourage them to invite people over to socialise so they don’t begin to feel lonely and isolated.