5 Ways To Take Care Of Aging Relatives

July 4, 2023

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 Caring for ageing relatives is no easy task - especially as our needs tend to grow more complex with age. Despite this, stepping up and caring for those that once cared for us is one of the most rewarding things we can do. 

With that in mind, here are five ways in which you can take care of ageing relatives. 

Accompany them to healthcare appointments. 

As we get older, the frequency at which we visit the doctor’s office tends to increase. This is because many health conditions can develop as a result of old age. As such, by accompanying your parents or loved ones to healthcare appointments, you’re providing them with support when they need it most. 

Furthermore, this means that you can also help them to stay more informed when dealing with specific health complaints, as you can ask their doctors what steps they should be taking to achieve better health. For example, if they’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you could help them follow a diabetes-friendly diet which will lessen their symptoms and better their health.  

This dentist who does teeth whitening and dental implants in Cleveland TN recommends visiting a physician at least once a year, and twice a year with a dental expert.

Help them find the perfect retirement village. 

While your loved ones may be unwilling to leave their home, especially if there’s a lifetime of memories in the space, retirement villages enable them to receive access to consistent support while also maintaining their independence. As such, you may want to tour different retirement villages with them, helping them find a place they can call home.

Each retirement village has something different to offer, which means it's easier than ever to find a place that caters to their needs. For example, if your loved one is a keen golfer, you may want to look for a retirement village with an on-site golf club and classes! This way, they can remain engaged with their hobbies, too! 

Work to combat loneliness. 

Many senior citizens deal with loneliness on a daily basis, especially if they are widowed or living alone. This is particularly concerning when you consider the fact that “loneliness and social isolation increase the risk of dementia by 50%.” As such, one of the easiest ways to care for an aging relative is by helping to combat this loneliness.

For example, you should make sure you visit them as often as possible, even if you’re just popping by for an hour or so. Remember, if this is the only contact they have with the outside world that day, they’re sure to be more thankful for it than you can imagine, especially as it can help to better their mental health.

However, you should also encourage them to spend time outside of the house where possible. For example, if they remain engaged in their hobbies, they are more likely to have an active social life or people that they can spend time with. Support groups for older people can also come in handy here, as they’ll be able to talk to people who understand exactly what they are going through.

Spend quality time together. 

As mentioned above, spending time with elderly relatives is one of the easiest ways to help them fight off loneliness and isolation - but it can also be suitable for other aspects of their health, too. 

For example, some studies have found that spending time with loved ones is good for your heart health. This is because “blood pressure tends to decrease significantly when spending quality time with friends or family.” It's also an excellent way to help them take care of their mental health by reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. 

Care for yourself too.

When caring for others, it's vital that you are also getting the self-care you need. After all, while you’ll likely want to put the needs of your loved ones before your own, doing so means you’re putting your own health and happiness at risk. Over time, this can become draining, leaving you vulnerable to burnout and sickness - which could mean that it's no longer possible for you to offer them the same level of support as you are now.

As such, you should make sure that you always make time in your schedule to address your own needs. For example, after a stressful day at work, you may want to go on a short walk to spend some time in nature or to binge-watch your favourite Netflix series - both of which can provide you with a sense of comfort. 

Either way, as little as 20 minutes of self-care a day can make a real difference and could make it much easier for you to look out for others. 

*contributed post*

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