Living and caring for an aging parent is a challenge that concerns the whole family. Elderly people are like children, they need attention, love, patience, and to be respected and valued so that they can live a happy life. However, that does not mean that we should make them feel inferior.
Most people and agencies who take care of the elderly agree that taking care of an old person is a moral duty that should not be avoided.
Here are 6 usually ignored tips that will come in handy and help you get alongside them if you have an aging parent or loved one at home or in a health care aid agency that will help them stay alive.
1. Treat Them Nicely
Elderly people get easily upset when we treat them with disdain and this affects their entire well-being. Always watch your actions, inaction, and reactions. Old people get upset when we treat them as children – just because they are forgetful, it should not mean that we should use that weakness against them. Do not remind them of how weak and slow they are, it is disrespectful.
Avoid reproaches, criticism and scolding. Treating them badly will only frustrate, embarrass and make their condition worse.
2. Engage Them In Very Light Exercise
Try to get your age parent to have some light physical activity like taking a very short walk, once in a while. Physical exertion must be performed at their convenience during the day, so as to stimulate blood circulation.
Provide physical and cognitive stimulation to the elderly. Don’t allow them to stay all day in bed or seating in their chair. Therefore, caregivers should engage and encourage and assist elderly people to take a walk, and exercise lightly like swinging arms only as much as his or her body system can tolerate.
3. Eliminate Idleness
Idleness breeds illness, try to engage elderly people and motivate them with some daily task. Research has proven that if older and elderly people are engaged in activities, this will give them an extra motivation to live. As a caregiver, search for a project you can do alongside them once in a while or every day – this will help keep their brain active.
Spend a bit of one-on-one time with them like looking at a photo together, talk about their past, knit a scarf, watch a movie, listen to music.
4. Perfect Home Lighting System
Older people easily get moody, but the right lighting system at home will go a long way in affecting their mood. Use lights that are not too bright but not too dim either. Ensure you use a lighting system that will encourage them and not make them depressed. If the elderly person is concerned about the expense of light, ensure you reduce the light and keep the entire house bright.
When it’s dark, always keep it bright until they need to sleep. Keep the lighting switch at their reach close to their bed so they could use it at will.
5. Show Concern Over Their Health
It is common for an older adult to consume several kinds of pills, which can get them confused on their dose. Also, there is usually a tendency towards self-medication, this is very dangerous. Thus, it is necessary for you, as a family member or caregiver to take control of all medication-related situations.
It is recommended that you keep a routine check on each medication. This way, you are showing concern about their health, and let everyone know the schedule of each medicine and how to administer them.
Talk to them about how they feel over particular treatment and ensure you keep a profile of what they tell you as this will assist the doctors to help them get better.
6. Talk with Them
Older people are usually ignored because they oftentimes lack the ability to keep a conversation alive. Talking will help keep their minds awake and active while greatly improving their quality of life. If you are visiting, try talking to them and watching the TV. Older people have a lot of experience to offer in a conversion even though they are always repeating the same stories or the same complaints. A poll by Emmanuel O. Victor, on the effect of listening in a relationship, showed that listening is love.
Finally, several types of research by psychologists and experts point out that elderly people feel happy and safe if they are respected and cared for by their own family or home health aide agencies. Also, provide a safe environment by removing objects that could cause injuries or obstructions. Install railings in the bathroom to assist them while bathing.
As caregivers, if we treat elderly people right irrespective of their health challenges, we are in actuality giving them a reason to smile and live for another day.