Ageing is inevitable and affects everybody. At one point or another, it is more than likely you will have an elderly family member to look after. This may be difficult or even frustrating not only for you but also for the elderly family member. Remember, this person was once independent but now has to depend on you for his or her basic care, so it’s not that easy for them. More so, some older people may have complex needs, including medical attention.
It is important to take care of the elderly members of the family because you will require the same one day. There are a couple of options when it comes to caring for the elderly. You can decide to put them in a nursing home, or you can provide personal care at home.
Most caregivers prefer to care for their elder person at home. As long as there are no serious health complications, and if the situation is safe for all family members, caring for the elderly at home is a wonderful thing to do. This is because you can show them the patience, affection, love, and care that they deserve.
So, if you’re caring for the elderly at home, the following tips may be helpful to you. Follow them accordingly, and you can limit stress. Caring for the elderly is one of the most stressful and demanding jobs to do, so implement any steps to make it easier for everyone involved.
#1: Understand How Much Care the Elderly Need
As a caregiver, you need to make sure you don’t get too overwhelmed. Instead, you should focus on specific tasks and prioritise responsibilities. The first thing you need to do is to find out and understand how much care the older person requires.
With this, you will be able to understand the exact level of care needed during the day, at night, and on weekends. This will help you to create a list of daily, weekly, and monthly care tasks and understand supervision requirements. You will also have to focus on injury prevention by making sure your house is safe for elderly members.
#2: As the Caregiver, Be Realistic About How Much Care You Can Offer Without Compromising on Your Wellbeing
Don’t be over-ambitious or too enthusiastic when it comes to caring for others as you don’t want to burn out. Instead, be realistic in your evaluation and carefully consider how much you are capable of giving without harming your health and wellbeing. You may realise that you need help with a couple of tasks.
Note that, if you take on too much too quickly, it will rapidly become too much to handle and you can end up developing health issues. This includes issues surrounding mental health. This will result in you being unable to care for your family members anymore.
To reduce the stress of caregiving, try any of the following:
- Enrol seniors in an adult day program. This will not only give you much-needed rest but will also help the older adult to stay socialised
- Hire a domestic caregiver to help you to get regular breaks
- Sign up for a meal delivery service to reduce the number of meals you need to prepare
- Ask other family members or close friends to help in making some meals, doing some light housekeeping, or running errands
- Buy food and other household supplies either online for home delivery or in bulk to save time and energy
- If possible, share the caregiving responsibility among multiple family members
Please note that these solutions may not be perfect, but they will at least help to reduce the workload on you.
Hint: Caring for the elderly can also place significant financial pressure on you and your family. Healthcare equipment for homes is often expensive. Therefore, reduce caregiving costs as much as possible to help you overcome the financial burden.