Home Off Beat 5 Tips For Understanding the Needs of An Elderly Relative

5 Tips For Understanding the Needs of An Elderly Relative

by DrPrem Jagyasi

We are living longer and longer and, as a result, many more of us are going to need ongoing and long-term care. Many of us will choose to take care of our relatives in our homes or their homes; however, while longer life is amazing and a blessing indeed from medical science, the fact remains that there are some parts of caring for an elderly relative that we might not be quite prepared for.

That’s ok – so long as you take the time to educate yourself prior to needing to do it!

After all, you will need to understand the limitations of mobility, to know the importance of proper medication and to be available for hospital visits and trips to the doctor. Whether you choose an option like home care by Better Living Homecare to ease the effort required, or just get in and do it all yourself, there are some things you will need to ensure for giving the best possible care to your beloved elderly relative. 

Understand what you need to do
 

The first thing you need to do is take stock of the care that you’ll need to be providing. Don’t get overwhelmed! Despite this being a potentially difficult transition, you are doing the right thing by offering your love and support to your loved one through this new stage in their life. Talk to your relative and find out what they want – if you can. Sometimes, you can reach the best understanding by looking at what needs to be done, what can be done, and how you’re going to do it.

Look at the care needed 

The next thing you must do is to look at what kind of care your relative needs now, and think about what kind of care they might need down the track. Do you need to get a skilled professional like a nurse or an in-home health aide? Perhaps you might like to speak to some of your other relatives and find out if you can do shifts for greater access to care, and so no one gets burnt out.

Think about the health cover 

Does your relative have health care already? Perhaps they need to upgrade the type of care they have access to, and maybe you need to speak to them about what they would like to do. This is a decision that needs to be taken carefully, because you don’t want to be caught short. If you need to, you might need to take over their basic health and decision-making.

Taking over decision-making 

If you need to look after your relative’s affairs, be sure to speak to them about power of attorney and/or their will. You want to make sure that they have their affairs in order before they are unable to act on their own volition.

End of life conversations 

There will come a time when you will need to think about the funeral that your relative will be having. Do they have any wishes for their body? Would they like their bodies and body parts to be donated for research, or would they like a tree planted in their memory? Make sure you know passwords to their accounts and that you have full access to their information so that after they have passed, there are minimal hassles.

There is no easy way to get through the grief that will be sure to come, but it’ll help if you’re not trying to remember their password to a bank account in the midst of your grieving period.

Don’t forget that you are doing an incredibly beautiful thing, taking the time to care for your relative in a dignified and respectful way. You are helping them to enjoy the final years of their lives in a way that is fitting to how they lived the rest of their life: in fullness and with joy.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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