How to Support and Care for the Elderly

How to Support and Care for the Elderly

by Bryn Fest

As people grow up, they all see the people around them growing older and older – parents, uncles, aunts, and even neighbors and family friends. While this can be difficult to witness, you can do so many things to help enrich their lives and make them feel as though you are always there looking out for them. Not only will this make them feel better about growing older, but it will also help you ensure your aging loved ones are well cared for.

Of course, many different illnesses and complications will hinder older people. However, there are various things you can do to minimize their ailments and help them live a fulfilling life throughout their golden years. With this in mind, here are some top tips to help you and your elderly loved ones overlook potential problems and live life as they deserve.

Keep Them Feeling Useful

Everyone wants to feel needed and useful – it’s part of human nature, whether you realize it or not. Elderly people are no exception; in fact, making them feel needed is an ideal way to keep their mental health in prime shape.

You may even find yourself trying to include your elderly loved one subconsciously, such as asking questions you already know the answers to just to help start a conversation or make them feel involved.

There are many other ways you can make your loved one feel useful and included, and some of these are:

  • Asking questions
  • Writing to-do lists
  • Asking them to help you with errands
  • Asking them to help you tackle easy chores, like cleaning, laundry, folding, gardening, and small cooking and baking tasks

Most of these options help their brain stay focused on a task and can even promote a little bit of physical activity, which is great for both their body and mind.

Find the Right Kind of Social Care

As your family member gets older, it can become more difficult for you to look after them. You’re probably already juggling your own life with jobs, children, and a social life, which might mean you need to consider researching social care for your loved one if you’re struggling to care for them on top of your daily responsibilities.

It’s undeniable that society has been conditioned to see social care and care homes in general as a bad thing – but this is a harsh, wrong view to hold. There are various different kinds of social care you can look into, and many of them offer a very high standard of care – and actually do care about the residents they look after.

Home Care

Home care is exactly how it sounds. If the patient is still able to get around but might need checking on once or a few times a day, this can be the perfect solution. Not only will they still feel independent and get to stay in their own home, but they will also meet nurses and carers and be able to socialize while enjoying support with daily tasks, like cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, and many others.

Homes for Dementia

There are also care homes that exist specifically for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. These specialist care homes always have a nurse on hand and are well equipped to look after adults with these complex ailments.

There are many kinds of these special care homes available, and most areas will have several to choose from so that you can find the right one for your loved one. To get started, simply search the term ‘memory care near me’ to find your local dementia care homes that’ll care for your loved one with dementia and give you peace of mind.

Help Them Stay Connected

Helping your elderly loved one stay connected is one of the best things you can do for them in these modern times. It can also be one of the easiest tasks, too, as there are so many different ways of communication – whether a phone call, an email, instant messaging, video chat, and even good old face-to-face socializing, like meeting up for a coffee at their home or in a local café.

Not only should you help your loved one keep in regular contact with family and friends, but ideall, you should also help them get out to senior centers. This will encourage them to talk to other people and stay a firm part of their community, as well as helping them stay on track with what is happening around them in their area.

To help them get out and about more, all you have to do is arrange transport, which can be you driving them and picking them up, going on the bus or in a taxi with them, or organizing transport with a friend who might also have an older relative who attends social clubs and senior centers.

Keep Them Mentally and Physically Active

Keeping someone moving and their brains going is the best way to keep them feeling good and able to do everyday activities – and that’s true for anyone of any age. However, it’s especially important for older people to have adequate physical and mental stimulation, as it will help them stay mentally and physically healthy, as well as improve their quality of life.

Physical Activity

Most forms of physical exercise is ideal for an older adult. From walking and swimming to mild yoga and even gardening, errands, light housework, and easy chores – it all helps keep their bodies and minds in peak condition as they age.

It’ll be a bigger bonus if they can get out for a walk in the fresh air and meet other people to socialize with – for example, they can go on group walks with friends or other seniors and enjoy a good chitchat, and perhaps even a picnic on the park bench whilst they’re out. It’s truly as simple as that – exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym or working out with equipment; it’s more like enjoying an easy saunter or fun club with other like-minded people.

Overall, physical activity – no matter how much or little – will help your elderly relative stay positive and well and impacts both their physical and mental wellbeing in incredible ways that’ll have them enjoy their older years and stay as healthy as possible for longer.

Mental Activity

There are numerous ways to keep an older person mentally stimulated. From socializing to chores and games, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Undoubtedly, though, one of the best ways to keep an elderly citizen mentally on the go is puzzles, jigsaws, crosswords, and number games like sudoku. Thought-provoking activities like these will get them focused on something they will have to figure out, and that’s excellent for the mind’s health.

Reading and writing are also very good for keeping their brains engaged, keeping the imagination going, exercising the mind, and learning new things. They don’t even have to be reading novels to reap the benefits of reading either – comics, news, and magazines can also help keep the brain just as sharp.

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