How to Care for the Elderly?
Providing care is something that’s unique to both the individual carer and the person that they are caring for. Everybody’s situation is different but most importantly, everyone is unique in themselves.
This means that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to those in need of care. That’s why we tailor all of our services to the individual, with options including in-home care, convalescence, long term and respite care.
If you’re wondering how to provide care to elderly loved ones, that depends on a lot of factors, but let’s start with who we’re talking about.
Caring For Elderly Family
If the person you’re caring for is a family member, then the closeness of your relationship may mean that you’re a major lifeline for them. Your support can help them to live their daily life to the fullest possible potential.
This may include assisting them with day to day activities and the amount of different tasks this may include are of course numerous. Typically, it includes helping with household chores that a person may struggle to complete by themselves, such as cleaning, cooking, shopping and so on.
What’s important here is not necessarily just the individual tasks you can help with. However, it’s the communication between you that is key to making your situation the best it could possibly be. Being family means it’s easier to have an open and honest chat about how you could be best spending your time. If you’re wondering how can we help old people with the best possible care, then the first step needs to be asking them what they actually need help with in the first place.
Perhaps there’s something that they haven’t mentioned and you didn’t realise was something they were struggling with. Often worries about being a burden can weigh heavily on the mind of the person you’re caring for and this may cause them to avoid asking for more help.
Not only is it important to have these open conversations to alleviate any of these kinds of fears, but it’s also vital in keeping your relationship healthy and happy.
It’s also important to realise that there’s more to care than just helping them get by day to day. Your presence can actually be a force to improve their lives both physically and mentally.
There’s a misconception that we stop being able to improve our body and our minds after a certain age. This is false. By helping your family member socialise and get safe amounts of exercise within their physical ability, you can dramatically improve their life and even prevent depression, anxiety and lower the risk of dementia.
Caring For an Elderly Friend
As is always the case with care help for the elderly, this depends entirely on your personal situation. If you’re especially close, then you may find yourself fulfilling a role exactly as described in our previous example.
However, if that’s not the case and their main care requirements are already fulfilled, then there’s still plenty you can offer in the way of help and companionship. That latter point is key because although someone may have someone to help them in their day to day life, that doesn’t equate to a fulfilling social life.
Loneliness is one of the biggest issues that the elderly face and your role in helping can be as simple as making sure you make an effort to spend time with your friend, even if it’s just for a cup of tea and a chat whenever you can manage. Every little help.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you might not be able to help further. Depending on their care situation, then your help may be needed from time to time - say if their carer is out of town or unable to carry out their usual tasks, then offering help here and there could save a lot of hassle and anxiety.
If you are able, then organising something social that you and your friend could enjoy together, or perhaps with others as well, is a wonderful way of making someone’s day. A trip out or a get together can do wonders for a person’s quality of life.
Caring For the Elderly Within Your Community
If you’re interested in helping out within your community, then there’s tons of fantastic charities out there that would love to have you on board. Here’s a quick list of some of our favourites and how you can help.
Age UK: This is one of the largest elderly based charities in the country and they offer several ways in which you can get involved and help elderly people within your community and beyond. You could help raise funds by working at an Age UK charity shop, or become a fundraiser for the charity.
There’s also options to provide support, information and advice to older people. You can befriend within your community, volunteer at a national event or as a telephone volunteer, or campaign with the charity.
Contact the Elderly: This is a charity that holds a monthly tea groups to offer elderly people companionship. You can volunteer in a variety of ways including helping drive the guests to the host’s home. You can also host or co-ordinate a group meet up yourself or become a volunteer area organiser, who are responsible for helping preserve and promote the success of the charity.
Community Network: This is another network that aims to ease loneliness among elderly people by organising hour long group chats. You can volunteer with their community network, join a talking community or donate to help keep these services going.
Independent Age: If you’d like to volunteer in a more personal capacity, then you can volunteer with Independent Age to chat with an elderly person on the phone or drop in and visit them at home.
Royal Voluntary Service: This charity is a little different, as they offer such a wide range of help through their volunteers, it’s hard to say exactly what you can expect. However, in essence, they help with anything that an elderly person may need assistance with and that can range from help with gardening to a simple conversation.