10 Things To Consider When Caring For An Elderly Relative

As we age, everything that was once taken for granted will become more difficult. Often, friends and family will need to step in and care for you. 

If a loved one of yours needs to be looked after, then it may seem like the right thing to do to take care of them. But before you do decide to take care of someone in this way, it is important that you consider everything that is involved in caring for elderly relatives. Elder-care is more than a full-time job, and it will be both emotionally and physically challenging. 

Here is everything you should think about when taking care of an elderly relative. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Keeping Medication Organized

One of the most important aspects of caring for an elderly relative is that you’ll need to make sure that they are taking any medication that they are on when they need to. They may be on several different medications for a variety of different conditions. Make sure you know about their medical conditions and understand what the medication is for. In addition, you should get to know more about the medication, including: 

  • When the medication needs to be taken
  • What dosage they require
  • When you can order repeat prescriptions 

You may be required to administer their medication or to check each day to ensure it has been taken. 

Carrying Out Housework

If the elderly relative that you are caring for has limited mobility, then you may need to help them with their housework. While this may mean carrying out major tasks such as cleaning the whole house, it may also involve smaller tasks such as washing the dishes. 

Assisting With Mobility 

Since mobility is a problem for many older people, there are risk factors that you should be aware of. You may need to supervise or provide mobility aids to help them get about their day without having any slips, trips, or falls. 

Make sure that the home environment is safe for them. This could involve making sure that the house is free from clutter, that the walkways are clear, that there are handrails throughout the home, that there is a stairlift in place, that walkers or wheelchairs are available as needed. 

This wheelchair guide will talk you through finding the right wheelchair for the relative that you are caring for. 

You should go through the house and identify any potential risks and make the necessary changes. 

You’ll Need a Bathing Routine

Personal hygiene and health go hand-in-hand. Wherever possible, you should ensure that the relative that you’re caring for has some sense of independence when it comes to bathing and washing. To achieve this, you could provide handrails in the bathroom, along with baths and showers that are easily accessible. 

When someone is unable to clean themselves, you will need to help them. Creating a bathing and washing routine is essential. This will ensure your loved one will stay clean all of the time. This will be even more important if your relative is either bed-bound or incontinent, as sores may form if you don’t keep proper hygiene.

You’ll Need to Cook for Your Relative

Unless your elderly relative is able to cook themselves, you will very likely to do this on their behalf every day. Make sure that you provide a healthy balanced diet that is not only varied, but that is also interesting. Make sure that mealtimes are something to look forward to. 

If you want to save yourself some time, you may want to batch cook some meals so that these can be quickly reheated another day. 

You May Need To Lift Your Relative

If the person that you are caring for has mobility issues, then it will be essential that you help them to get around. To do this, you may need to lift them up. If this is something that you need to do, ensure you do it safely and consider your own body. Make sure that you are not putting yourself at risk at all. 

There may be lifting equipment that you can buy that will help you to lift your loved one safely. There may also be courses that you can take that teach you safe lifting and handling. 

You’ll Need To Help Your Relative To Exercise 

It is essential that you help keep your elderly relative as active as possible. Even if your elderly relative has mobility problems, there will be some exercises that they can do. This may just mean doing simple movements with their arms and feet. Find some basic routines that they can complete. Join in with the exercises with them to make them feel more at ease while they’re doing them. 

You Will Need To Run Errands

There will often be errands that need to be run. If your elderly relative is unable to do them, you will need to do them on their behalf. This may mean going to the shop, paying bills for them, returning their library books, and much more. Try to maintain a routine so that you can easily keep up with the required errands. 

There May Be Hospital Procedures 

If your relative needs to go into the hospital for a procedure, you’ll need to be there to help them out with their aftercare. Make sure that you’re there to speak with the doctor and find out what you’ll need to do in terms of caring for them after the procedure. You will also need to ensure they are able to attend any follow-up appointments. 

Providing End of Life Care

One of the hardest things that you’ll need to deal with is the end of life care. It will be important that you know exactly when you should call a hospice. 

With all the best intentions, there will be times when caring for someone that you are close to will get to be too much for you. Make sure that you take a break whenever possible, and build a support network around yourself. 

This is a collaborative post.

In Health,

Melinda

10 comments

  1. You don’t have to do all of your own. Sooner or later it will get too heavy (even it’s two of you). You can order some help like care takers visits every day, like we did with my brother to our parents. Otherwise (in some point) you should live with your relative (or take hi/she to hospital). Living together is quite much to ask (specially) if you have your own family too and it’s more nice if your relative can be at home than in hospital. It’s win for everyone if you have homehelp. You don’t also have to worry all the time is everything ok even you don’t live there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You need help even if you live with them. I stayed with each of my grandparents while they were dying and had people coming in every other day to help. It was still a huge load but I’m so glad my husband is family-oriented and was all for me staying with them. It took me months after each died to get my own health back together and then grieve. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate you. 🙂

      Like

      1. Yes, your right! Help is needed anyway! I just ment that you don’t have to do ALL of your own. I got that kind of vision of your post like you should do everything…but sure it depends also the shape of that person who you are taking care of…Well, my dad passed away last year and my mom is now at hospital, so there’s no one to take care for me anymore. Now I really miss that time even it was hard in a way. Atleast we could spend time together back then…

        Liked by 1 person

          1. My mom will not get better because she have Alzheimer. It just gets worse…but that’s the way it goes when you get older. Always Will be something…She’s waiting a permanent seniorhouse place….Yes, it’s hard to loose a loved one but sadly we all have to face it sometimes.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I completely understand. My granny had Dementia and she was not able to take care of herself. Luckily my gramps and I were able to keep her at home. It was very difficult and painful to watch her get lost in herself. It great that you found a place that can care for her, it can be difficult to find an Alzheimer’s or Dementia home. The thing I keep in mind is even though my grandparents are gone, I still have so many great memories and they are with me every day. Have a great day and weekend. 🙂

            Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.