Today we want to touch on a subject that we think will be very useful for many families: the care of elderly people at home.
Because how many cases do you know of friends who have a grandfather or grandmother in the home? There are many families who either cannot afford to pay for a residence or day centre, or who decide to take care of the elderly themselves.
This is a totally respectable and courageous personal choice, since attending to the needs of an elderly person is not easy. But neither is it impossible.
As experts in the care and assistance of the elderly, we have compiled advice that we hope will be useful to you, if you have an elderly person living at home.
Caring for the Elderly at Home: Tips for Doing Better
Establish a routine
Man is a creature of habit”, and more so as we grow older and more vulnerable to change. Let’s make it easy for him!
It is good that we set schedules, both for routine activities such as bathing, meals or going to bed, and for other more leisurely activities, such as going for a walk, playing cards with friends or practicing a hobby.
Following a daily routine helps seniors feel safe. They feel that they are moving in familiar territory and that motivates them.
Adapt the house to avoid risks
As we get older, our senses diminish, we become more clumsy and are more prone to falls. It is essential to make small changes in the home to avoid this.
To begin with, try to ensure that the old person does not encounter obstacles and that the space through which he moves is well lit.
Can you guess which part of the house is most dangerous for an elderly person? Without a doubt, the bathroom. Take note of these little arrangements and avoid scares:
- Install a bar in the shower at navel height so it can be held.
- Place non-skid stickers on the shower floor so that it does not slip.
- Put a wall dispenser with liquid soap. If you use bar soap, it could fall out of your hands and force you to bend over. No risk!
- Put a non-slip mat under the cloth mat that we usually have when we get out of the shower.
In general, make sure that there are no broken or insufficiently stable carpets, wires, or furniture in the house that could pose a danger to the safety of the older person.
You will see that they will feel more independent and safe and therefore happier.
Get ahead of the problems
As you can see, the key is to get ahead of the problems. Older people can sometimes be unpredictable, so caring for older people at home is not always easy. Here are some tips that will help you:
- It is advisable that the person is always identified, especially if they have memory problems. A name, address and telephone number plate will suffice. Very easy and effective, in case anything happens to him suddenly.
- The telephone is also key. It should be in an accessible and visible place in the house. In addition to leaving a notebook or notebook in which are written down the phones you can call in an emergency.
- If your family member has a cognitive impairment, remember to lock the door if you have to leave the house for a moment.
Keep a record of your medications
An elderly person can consume a very high number of medicines, so it is absolutely essential that we keep track of the doses and times indicated by the doctor.
No self-medicating! It seems silly, but it is very easy to make mistakes and get confused about pills or even double the dose.
Use pillboxes or a notebook where you can keep a daily control of the medicines that the major in your charge has taken.
Make sure you follow a balanced diet
Another key point in caring for older people at home is diet.
Isn’t it common to hear Grandpa say at the table, “Don’t worry, I’ve got this. I’m not very hungry”? I’m sure that sounds like…
As we get older we get used to eating less food and having the same kind of food. However, if we want our family member to enjoy good physical and mental health, it is essential to follow a healthy and balanced diet. Light and low salt foods are recommended, preferably boiled or grilled.
Take care of your personal hygiene
Birthdays and getting older are not at odds with coquetry. If you have an older man in the house, don’t neglect his grooming.
- Remind him to apply moisturizer or sunscreen, if he is going to be exposed to the sun. If he can’t, you do it.
- His oral health is important. If he wears dentures, brush them after meals and let them rest in cold water overnight. If he keeps his own teeth, try to keep him from getting distracted and brushing his teeth and gums with a soft brush with fluoride toothpaste.
- To avoid incontinence problems, remind her from time to time to go to the bathroom and relieve herself. It can be violent at first, but I’m sure he’ll thank you for it in the end. If the problem is serious, it’s best to use a diaper.
Motivate him physically and mentally
Do you realize how beneficial it is to spend quality time with an older person? Listen to them, pamper them, encourage them to go out for a walk or try to solve a crossword puzzle.
We should stimulate their mind with games or riddles, for example, and encourage them to participate in activities, either at home or out and about with others. In short, try to make her lead as active and healthy a life as possible.
We assure you that there is no better way to prevent immobility and memory disorders!
But remember, the less you feel depressed and down, the better it is to see a doctor.
Help him stay socially connected
Old age is a source of wisdom, anecdotes and funny stories. Don’t ignore your grandparents when you get home. Include them in your conversations! You can’t imagine what you can learn and enjoy listening to them.
It also allows them to interact with close circles of friends, in addition to family. That way, they will feel more fulfilled and socially integrated.
At Joyners, we always say that “loneliness is not good for anyone, since human beings are naturally sociable. That is why we offer companionship services for the elderly with different activities to motivate them and avoid their isolation. Take a look here, if you are interested.
And what if we add the secret ingredient to all of the above: a good dose of love and affection?
Older people can be complicated, grumpy and sometimes bad-tempered, but treat them patiently and you’ll find that it’s just a front. What they want most is to feel loved and listened to.
And if you have a grandparent in the house with a bad wake-up call, make sure you regulate the light in the room so that when he goes to bed it is soft. It has been proven that a dim light in the room is good for rest. Try it and you’ll see!
Leave the superhero cape in the closet
Yes, caring for an older person at home can be hard and tiring. It requires time, a great deal of commitment, and a lot of love and dedication. I don’t think anyone would dare claim otherwise after reading this article, would they?
In this sense, we recommend this other touching post about the overload suffered by people who have someone in their care.
Ask other family members or professionals for help
Don’t take on this task alone. You are not an expert in the field, you have your own problems and you also deserve to rest and enjoy life.
You should not feel guilty if you need time for yourself
It’s good for you to rest and find activities that help you escape, break the routine. Try sports!
Besides, if we are in a bad way, the older people will perceive it and we will generate in them sadness and discomfort. They feel a burden. So save some time for yourself, superheroes are out of fashion!
Our elders need us to do our best to accompany them in their final stage. A stage, sometimes hard and difficult, that can also become a cover full of love and respect.