If you have any elderly relatives who need looking after, this is a situation that can be somewhat bittersweet. After all, you probably want to make sure that they are being looked after properly, and you care about their well-being enough to put the work into making that happen. But it can also be difficult to watch as they age and gradually appear to find certain functions difficult that once were normal for them. To help you out, let’s take a look at some of the things to bear in mind when you are caring for an elderly relative.
Compassion & Patience
One of the most important, and most difficult, things that you need to try and practice here is general compassion and patience for the person in question and what they are going through. Having compassion for them simply means that you are putting all of the love you know they deserve into your interactions with them. And patience is all about keeping on with them even when it gets tough and you are finding it difficult to be with them, which is perfectly normal and natural to feel. Be sure to focus on these two things above all else.
Sometimes it is important for an elderly relative to receive extra care on top of whatever you can give them, and when this appears to become the case it can, of course, be quite a difficult experience for everyone involved. However, there are some ways to make it a little easier and less stressful, such as using a senior placement agency to find your relative the perfect care home, or ensuring that you are personally seeking the right kind of extra domiciliary care. As long as you do that, it should be that you can find the right care for them.
It’s important to do your research though, seeing as not all care homes are created equal and some may actually be doing more harm than good. No elderly person should ever have to suffer nursing home abuse, yet it is, unfortunately, a common occurrence. In order to combat this atrocity, it is important to ensure that seniors can access justice when they experience such treatment. One of the best ways to do this is by encouraging them to speak up and report abuse; providing safe and successful channels for reporting can be crucial in helping seniors get justice they deserve.
Even as you care for someone who is elderly, you also need to try and maintain your own personal space. This is as important for them as it is for you, and a lot of carers find that it is very difficult to actually do this right, so it’s something you might find takes a little patience and practice. Finding space enables you to keep yourself happy and sane, and it also allows your elderly relative to be happier and more comfortable as possible too. Make sure you are thinking about everyone involved in the situation in this way.
Doing All You Can
You will probably find that there is a certain amount you can do for your elderly relative, and that trying to do more than that is impossible or at least a huge challenge. This is something that you should try to bear in mind, as otherwise, you might find yourself really struggling with the idea of looking after them and not quite doing it right. You are human, and you have your limits, and that is just how it goes. The sooner you accept this, the better it is for all.