Older people living on their own might tell you they are fine and don’t need any help but should you believe them? The best thing to do is make the effort to support them and see if it’s appreciated or if they still struggle with some tasks. Below is a list of things you can consider when looking after your older relative.
Pick up the phone
Your older relatives might tell you they are fine on their own, and that might be partly true, but no one likes to be forgotten about and even a short conversation on the phone can make them feel connected and appreciated. Make sure you pick up the phone to them at least once a week.
One of the reasons some people don’t like talking on the phone is that they don’t have anything to say, in that case, keep it short and just tell them you’re checking in on them.
Create a helpline list
You can’t always be available to talk to your relatives or to run errands for them when they need things. The solution is to create a long list of helpful numbers that they can turn to when they need help or support.
Your list of helpful numbers should include a medical professional, a talking therapist, a befriending service, local centres, local taxi services and local food delivery companies. Put the list in a place that is easy to find and make it easy to read.
Hire a live-in carer
Just as you can’t be available all the time to talk to your relatives or help them out, you also can’t always be there to support them physically or emotionally. This is the case even if they have a long term health condition such as dementia or Parkinson’s disease.
The answer to this issue is a Live-in Care service. A live-in carer service is operated by professional carers with training in how to respond to the physical and emotional needs of older people with long term conditions.
Encourage physical activity
Not everyone likes physical activity, even younger people can struggle to motivate themselves to get going, but the body and mind need some physical activity to keep it healthy, especially if there is a lack of movement in someone’s life.
Try to encourage your elderly relative to move around even if it’s only to different parts of the house or into the garden. There are some exercise devices you can buy that will allow your relative to exercise for the comfort of their favourite chair.
Help with shopping
Chances are your older relative will be set in their ways. They will have spent their entire lives going to the local shops and returning in a taxi with their plastic bags, but the world has over since those days. It’s easy to order shopping online now but not everyone can do that easily.
If your older relative is not well versed with the Internet or computers they might miss the opportunity to have their shopping delivered conveniently to their home. In that case, you can order it for them by giving up about half an hour of your time.