There is no getting away from the fact that we all age. And if you are helping a loved one through some of the big changes that can come from again, then you will be part of enjoying the good times with them, as well as those tougher times. A lot can change and there will be new things to get used to. It can be hard for you all to accept some of the changes that do come, as the changes can be physical, emotional, and practical. So if you are helping an elderly parent, for example, it can be a real challenge for you, just as it will be for them if they have been used to being completely independent in life before.
If you are the person who will be making a lot of the decisions, then it can feel like even more pressure. But the more prepared that you are, the more ready you will be to help your loved one to deal with changes, as well as help yourself deal with it all too. So here are some things to be thinking about.
Is It Time to Move?
As people tend to get older, then their needs are going to change. The home that they have lived in for years may not be suited for how they need to live their life. For example, if they have a lot of stairs in their home, and only a bathroom on the second floor, then that is going to be difficult for someone who needs help walking on their own. You may be able to work a solution, and it could be something as simple as finding canes for sale and choosing one for them. But it may be time to think about moving them to a bungalow perhaps, or to move in with you or another carer. You could also think about assisted living spaces or nursing homes, depending on the need.
Are They OK to Drive?
If your loved one has been able to drive a car until now, then you need to assess whether it is a good idea for them to be doing so now. Their doctor could do an evaluation to see if they will be able to, but generally, you will have an idea of if they can or can’t (they might even choose themselves that they don’t want to). But really, if the decision is for them to not drive, it can be hard to deal with. It isn’t necessarily about driving that will bother them. Rather, it is all about the loss of independence that they will be feeling. For many, driving is what keeps them active and involved with those around them. So looking for options to help is something to think about.
As we get older there are people around us that we are going to lose. And for older people, it can a spouse that they could lose and have to adjust to life without; the grief can last for a long time. There can be changes in mood and emotions, so being a constant support and helping them to keep busy, as much as possible, is a good idea.