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It can be very challenging when an elderly relative that you care deeply for sees a deterioration in their health. There are many problems later in life that can affect a person’s ability to do day-to-day things such as wash themselves or make a meal. In some cases, mobility is the issue, while in others it might be conditions such as Alzheimer’s, which affects their cognitive functions. 

 

 

It is natural that you will want to help your relatives out, particularly if you are closely related to each other. But very often we have our own lives to deal with and caring for a loved one can take up a considerable amount of our time. 

 

Finding a balance in your life is vital. Not only is it important for you to get some kind of break in your busy life, but if you are caring for a loved one while working or looking after children, it is eventually going to wear you completely, and then you will struggle to care for anyone. 

 

Retaining Independence 

 

Where possible, it is always important to ensure that a loved one retains as much independence as they can. They will have been doing things for themself for many years, and to suddenly need everything done for them can be difficult. 

 

One way that you can do this is by caring for them in their own home, and just visiting when you are able to. If you are unable to commit to too much time, share the load with other members of your family, or hire the services of an in home caregiver.

 

Try and let your loved one do as much for themselves as they can. Do not assume that they can’t do anything, as not being able to look after themselves is likely to get them down.

 

Caring For Your Elderly Relative In Your Own Home

 

If living in their own home alone is too much for them, you might want to consider letting them live with you if you have space. Make sure that they have their own space in your home and are allowed to feel fully welcome there. If there are other members of your family living there, it can also be helpful if everyone gets involved in providing care and support to lighten the burden on you. 

 

 

Care Homes

 

There may come a time when you are unable to provide the level of care that your loved one needs. Admitting this fact can be hard as you may feel as though you have failed them. However, you need to be honest with yourself about what you are able to offer in terms of support. 

Find a care home that your loved one likes. Make sure that there are plenty of activities on offer, and that the quality of care is good. Make several visits to the home to meet the staff and see how the residents are cared for before committing to your final choice. 

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Over 50 and fabulous living and writing in Appalachia

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