Are you concerned that some of your aging relatives no longer have the ability to live safely by themselves? If that’s the case, you want to make sure that their primary needs are taken care of, first and foremost, ensuring they are safe, eating, and not at too much risk of accident or injury. However, our human needs go beyond that, and you should always ensure that quality of life is a top priority.
The specter of isolation
By far one of the greatest threats to people in older age is the isolation they can feel. Our social circles shrink over time and our family starts families of their own, having less time for us. As such, it is vital to not only visit regularly, but to help them find communities that they can connect.
Ensuring the decision is theirs
You might feel like you sometimes need to put a little pressure on your loved ones to make sure that they are going to get the care that they need. However, how you talk to them about their needs can play a bigger role in their mental health than you might think. The feeling of losing control over one’s own life can be truly devastating at any age, so try to frame conversations positively, considering their wants and concerns, too.
Keeping busy is more than just keeping busy
It’s always important to make sure that we have something to occupy our time and to help us explore life outside of our own bubbles. While it is true we may have fewer options as we get older and can’t do everything that we used to, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have options. Look at the volunteer groups and community efforts near you that welcome older people, as well as hobby groups. These activities can help us retain a sense of meaning and community.
Be mindful of the kind of care that you choose
When you’re looking at care options for your loved one, you should always take a closer look to see what, exactly, they provide. Nursing home services should always provide the basic needs of eating, bathing, and grooming that we all need on a day-to-day basis, but do they also provide access to things like therapy and activity groups? Do they help take care of your loved one’s needs or do they help them live an independent and fulfilled life?
Be proactive about their health
Offer your loved ones your assistance when it comes to managing their health. They might not be going to the doctor as often as they should, which can be especially detrimental if they have a chronic illness that they are not managing. You can also look at steps you can take to improve their general health, such as eating healthier meals with them and looking for ways to get active with them.
Balancing the different needs that you have to be able to help your aging relatives meet can be difficult, but it’s necessary to do it. Otherwise, it can have lasting repercussions on their health.