One of the most emotionally complex and sometimes challenging things a person can experience is taking care of an elderly parent during trying times.
Truth is, very few people anticipate this task, and others simply deny that it’s coming. However, sooner or later, a fall in the bathroom or diagnosis from the doctor can turn children into caregivers overnight.
Don’t overthink it. You’re simply giving back the love that was given to you while you were growing.
Take a deep breath if you’re in this situation. IBIENE has some simple tips for you;
If you don’t live with one, you sure do have some in the neighbourhood. You can help support them to make them feel safe and connected.
Have a back-up plan:
If you won’t be able to provide hands-on care for your parents, you need to make another plan, especially about who will care for your loved ones if they get sick. Ensure to work this out with family and friends as soon as possible.
Join a social support group:
Family caregiving is hard work, even in the best of times. Don’t try to manage this by yourself. Find others in the same situation and talk about it. Also allow your elderly parent to meet with other people their age, be it in the church, the community centre or anywhere else. In this day and age of the digital space and connection, they can connect with their loved ones online, no matter how far away.
Connect with them especially if they’re away:
Now, you may be caring for a parent who is in a nursing home and assisted living facility and you feel anxious and guilty because you have been unable to visit for weeks or months. Try to connect with them via phone or video call while they’re away. At least, they know someone cares.
Take a walk:
Caregiving can become all-consuming. You will need a break, and you need to do everything you can to maintain your own health. A walk around the neighbourhood can be the perfect solution.
Change the look of the house:
It gets really boring when you look at one scene for a long time. It is worse especially when you’re immobile. This is the situation for some elderly ones. Try to change the look of the house for them. Put them where they can overlook the window and see the world outside or close to the tv set. Sometimes just take them to the garden just so there’s a change. It can help refresh their mood.
Re-assure them they are safe:
There’s nothing as unsettling as an anxious heart. Expressing such won’t make it any easier for these elderly ones but it’s your duty to reassure them that it will be okay. As a caregiver don’t be anxious as moods can be transferred.
If you don’t have an elderly one in the house;
- Buy them daily essentials like milk, bread, eggs, vegetables, fruit and others.
- Fix a date to help them run to the grocery shop for supplies.
- Ensure their medical supplies are stocked up.
- Send them a little reminder or call to ask if they took their medication?
Set up emergency contacts and speed dials:
- Identify someone nearby who they could rely on in case you are not available or far away.
- Help them to put all important phone numbers on speed dial like the emergency helpline numbers.
Do you have any question or comment? Please share with us in the comment section.