How to Best Help the Elderly

If we are lucky enough, we will all get old, but unfortunately, the consequences of aging can be difficult to manage. Watching a parent or a loved one become unable to cope on their own can be difficult and can also bring about a lot of change.

With this in mind, we’ve put together this guide to help those who know elderly people that need care. Find out how to best help the elderly with these simple steps and helpful resources.

Assess the Elderly Person’s Needs

The first step before anything else is to assess the needs of the person who needs assistance. This will determine what kind of help is needed and how much help or time will be required. There are eight key areas to think about when making this assessment, which comprise:

  • Home safety
  • Family support
  • Mobility
  • Cognitive health
  • Medical needs
  • Personal hygiene
  • Social interaction
  • Meal preparation
  • Daily activities e.g. shopping

It is advisable to write down how much support the person in question is already receiving in each of these categories, and how much support they will need to stay happy, healthy, and most importantly, safe.

For those who are unsure, it is best to find a professional to conduct a geriatric assessment to make sure everything is covered.

Assess Your Own Needs and Limitations

It is common to want to try and take on everything to look after a loved one when they need it, but being honest about your own needs and limitations is much better in the long run, as taking on more than you can chew can cause difficulties for both you and the elderly person you are looking after.

Options to think about are:

  • Are you mentally or physically well enough to care for someone else?
  • Would they move into your home, or you into theirs if necessary?
  • Do you have a positive relationship with each other?
  • Are you able and willing to learn how to care for them properly?

We all have lives to lead and bills to pay, so sometimes you aren’t able to offer 24/7 care, which is completely normal and understandable.

Fortunately, there are now some great options for those who have to answer no to these questions. Visit smithlifehomecare.com for more information on quality homecare provided from skilled and certified carers that can help you every step of the way.

Involve the Elderly in the Conversation

There are few things worse than someone else deciding your fate, especially if you are healthy and well enough to have a say in it. Talk to the person in question who needs care and ask them what they think their needs are, what their preferences would be, and if they have any concerns.

Involving them in the entire process means they will feel heard (after all, it is their life) and will also eliminate any surprises.

When someone starts to lose their independence, denial, and resistance to change can be very common, so take a gentle approach if you can, and build conversations up gradually so they know you are on their side with them, and not taking over.