Loneliness and isolation are two major issues a lot of people dread as they age. The fact that elders might not be able to engage in social activities- or practice common tasks, such as driving- is enough to compound these feelings.
Unfortunately, these are some of the issues our elders face in this busy world. With their children moving through the town without stopping to catch a breath, becoming lonely is often inevitable.
However, if you are reading this article, I could bet that you’ve chosen to see the needs of your elders!
But then, the big question remains: How do you incorporate adequate care for your elder ones into your busy schedule?
Here, we’ve created a checklist to help you do so.
1. Take care of the basics.
First, be sure that the home they live in is senior-friendly. Check out these tips:
- Remove tripping items such as rugs and extension cords
- Add extra lighting to the house.
- If necessary, store vitamins and other medications in an out-of-reach area in the home.
Secondly, encourage your elderly one to engage in social activities outside the home. Aside from helping to create new friends, this could alleviate feelings of loneliness and give you some time to refuel!
2. Estimate how much care is needed
‘If I am given 10 hours to cut down a tree, I’d spend 8 sharpening the ax.’
Obviously, you won’t be cutting down a tree while caring for your aged one. However, if you need to cut through the confused state you are in at the moment, you need to have a broad overview of what the elder you would be taking care of needs.
And, you do not need to work your fingers to the bone to do this. To begin with, get a notepad. Whenever you notice an activity in which the elder needs supervision, jot it down. Do this consistently for a week- and by the end of that week, you’d have the list of a considerable number of activities with which the elder needs care.
This way, your efforts towards caring would be timely and effective.
Also, it’s important you understand the wishes of the elderly one. While people might change as they age, we tend to remain fundamentally the same at our core. Engage your elder in conversations about what they wish happened around the home. Again, this helps you direct your efforts well.
In your dialogue about their wishes, consider the following points:
- Would your elder love to have a pet around?
- Would your elder prefer moving into a nursing home—perhaps one with care home software?
- What activities would they rather be involved in with you by their side?
3. Divide task among family members
Now that you understand what exactly needs to be done, you should understand that you cannot handle it all alone. That’d lead to your burnout and consequently inefficient care of your elder.
Develop a schedule that includes family members and loved ones. This schedule would include the times of the day and week each individual would be with your elder. First, this helps eliminate boredom and loneliness on the part of your elderly one. Secondly, the plan would help each person incorporate the care of their elder into their busy daily schedule.
Employing the help of a professional caregiver is also an option that could be considered.
4. Get Help
If the schedule looks overwhelming, you might want to consider getting help. This could be in the form of a hired helper or caretaker- just someone willing to get them through activities of the day with them. If you take up this route, you might also want to consider your budget.
5. Watch out for driving issues.
There might come a time when your loved ones might find it difficult to drive, mostly due to a poor reaction time. As your elderly one ages, it’s important that you access their driving skills, and if need be, provide other alternatives such as a personal driver or a car delivery option.
It’s important that you keep abreast of new technologies and policies that could help ease different areas of your elder’s life. For instance, switching over to more effective FaceTime appointments with the doctor or installing home assistants would go a long way in improving your elderly one’s quality of life!