Taking Care of an Older Family Member without Cramping Their Freedom or Independence

Whether it’s a parent, an in-law, and older relative or even a family friend you are hoping to take care of, here are a few tips to help you out…

Remind Yourself That Despite How Helpless They Appear, They Are Not Children

There is a circle of life where it appears as though the older we get, the more childlike and helpless we become. This circle is inevitable, and all of us go through it if we live long enough. However, despite the fact that your aging family member might be most definitely be behaving more childlike (in stubbornness and misunderstanding), and be more fragile (physically and mentally) than they used to be, it is vital for you to remember that they are still most definitely adults. You cannot “be firm” with them, as you would with a child. It will not only hurt their feelings, they might also grow angry about your dominance and see it as you restricting their freedom. Instead, try getting around them like you would an intelligent child…

Be Mindful If They’ve Had a Difficult Life or Traumatized Past

Has your aging member had a trying life? Have they faced something traumatizing in life, like being part of a war or losing someone dear to them in a shocking way? If so, it’s possible that this may come to them in a trying way. If you are not sure how to face or deal with a situation as such, consult a professional. Counsellors specialized in veterans and trauma can help you out a great deal here.

Teach Yourself the Right Ways and Things to Feed Them

Like children, older people too need to eat well. The right foods can keep them fit and feeling young, making it easier on you and them to stay independent. What you need to feed them depends entirely up to their health condition, and if they have any special dietary requirements. If you are not sure about what you can feed them to help them stay healthy and feeling independent, consider consulting a dietician. Professionals such as Fuel your life dietitians can be very informative and helpful in the dietary care of aged family members.

Make A Few Changes in Your Home So It Is Accessible and Safe For Them

Being able to access and use all parts of your home will help a great deal when it comes to helping your aging family member feel more independent. This is especially important to keep in mind when it comes to common areas of your home; like the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry areas. Apart from making it accessible, you should also consider making your home safer for your aging relative, by installing support rails for your bathrooms and stairways, and also making sure all your carpets are slip free.

Make Arrangements for Them to Be In Touch With Those Who Matter To Them

Socializing with friends and family is as important to them (in their age) as it is to us. It keeps them healthier, happier, and makes them feel independent as well. Arrange for them to meet their friends and others who matter to them regularly. You should also help them get used to technology so they can be more in touch with the outside world.

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