5 Good Things to do for your Elderly Relative
The new year is here, and it’s time to start making those resolutions again. But rather than setting yourself unrealistic resolutions that you will have forgotten about in a few months, here are five simple resolutions you can set yourself as you continue to look after your elderly relative.
Spend More Time Together
This is the simplest – but most important – resolution of all. Simply spending time with an elderly friend or relative is one of the best things you can do for them. People can become lonely when they are older, and problems are not spotted soon enough, which is when depression can set in.
Simply going around regularly to share a cup of tea and conversation can be all it takes. If you already visit once a week, perhaps make it twice a week this year.
Share meals. Cook them something nice and then enjoy the meal together. Or do something with them that they enjoy, like gardening. Go to the shops together and grab a cup of coffee while you’re there.
It’s hard to overstate just how much this can mean for an elderly person. It will make them feel valued and loved rather than a burden, and you will be providing companionship.
If you do nothing else this year, make this your one resolution to keep.
Help Them to Keep in Good Health
They don’t need to do set exercises. Instead, they might enjoy walking or gardening, so make sure they can get out and about, and accompany them.
Make sure they take their medications, and keep an eye on when their prescriptions are running low so you can pick up a new one.
And look out for hazards in the home like loose carpet, spills and loose cables. Trips and falls can be serious for elderly people.
Keep in Touch
The best way to stay in touch is to visit your friend or relative in person, but sometimes that’s not possible. Even when you can’t see them, give them a phone call, send a card, write emails or send regular letters.
You could even buy them a smartphone and send messages via WhatsApp, or download Skype and teach them how to make video calls.
There are many ways to stay in touch, so try to do so as much as you can.
Look Out for Problem Signs
Be on the lookout for signs that could indicate something is wrong. This could include signs like forgetfulness, bruises from falling over, or failing to look after their hygiene, all of which could indicate health problems.
Pay attention to their comments and their general state of mind. Check if they are receiving lots of junk mail containing offers of prizes, which could indicate they are being scammed.
Elderly people are often victims of scams, especially online, so ensure they know about good internet safety, and take a check over their accounts once in a while.
Help Them to Learn Something New
Elderly people often love learning new things well into their 80’s and 90’s. Find out what they would like to do, then help them out.
This could be how to send emails or how to start using a computer. It may be to start a new hobby, learn a new skill or meet new friends.
They may not be able to do it on their own, so help them out and accompany them in whatever it is they want to do.
Finally … Look After Yourself
You can only care for someone properly when you look after yourself too, and there are many ways you can do this:
- Create a support group of family and friends
- Look into respite care to ensure you give yourself a regular break
- Make time for yourself to rest or do a hobby
- Eat well
Whatever you do, make sure you find some time for yourself, speak to other people, ask for help if you need it, and stay in good health.