As people age, they may need more help with activities of daily living. This can be a challenge for loved ones who are trying to balance work, home life, and caring for their elderly relative. As family members, we want to provide our aging parents with the best possible care by making their lives easier.
Here are 10 ways to make everyday life easier for aging loved ones:
Senior family members tend to forget things more often, so it’s important to help them stay organized. Create a daily schedule for them, write out reminders, and keep track of their medications. You can also create a system for keeping track of important information like medical appointments, medications, and contact information for doctors. Planning and organizing a system lets the family know what to do and when and can help avoid overlap or missed appointments. Setting up daily, weekly, and monthly reminders can also be helpful.
Keep Communication Lines Open
Good communication is key to any successful relationship, especially when caring for aging parents. Talk with your loved ones about their needs and concerns, and keep the lines of communication open, so they feel comfortable coming to you with anything they need. Listening to them also helps you understand their feelings and what they might need help with. Remember that communication works both ways, so make sure you’re sharing your thoughts and feelings.
Encourage your aging loved ones to do things independently as much as possible. This can be something as simple as letting them choose what to wear for the day or allowing them to cook their own meals. When they can do things for themselves, it helps them feel independent and in control of their lives like they used to be. It also gives them a sense of purpose and something to look forward to each day.
Set Up a Home Health Care Routine
Routine is key when it comes to home health care for aging loved ones. A regular schedule helps both the elderly person and the healthcare provider know what to expect each day. This makes life easier for everyone involved.
A typical routine might include:
Morning: Taking a shower, getting dressed, and breakfast
Later morning: Taking a walk or doing some light exercise
Afternoon: Lunch and a rest period
Evening: Dinner and another rest period
Bedtime: Bathing, brushing teeth, and bedtime rituals
It’s important to note that this is just an example; your loved one’s routine may be different depending on their needs. Be sure to work with their at-home healthcare provider to create the best schedule for them.
Setting up a routine is important for both the aging parent and the caregiver. Having a set time for these activities can help your loved one feel more relaxed and less anxious about their day. It can also help you stay on track with their care.
Keep a List of Emergency Contacts
Include the numbers for family members, friends, and local home healthcare agencies. Also, be sure to include the contact information of the person’s doctor or any other medical professionals they see regularly. Emergency contacts should also include information such as the address and phone number of the person’s home and any important medical information, such as allergies or chronic conditions.
Creating a list of emergency contacts is a good way to prepare for anything that might happen. You never know when you might need to call on one of these people for help, so it’s important to have their information handy. Plus, it can give you peace of mind knowing that you have a plan in place in case of an emergency. Keep this list in an easily accessible place, like on the fridge, so everyone knows who to call in case of an emergency.
Simplify Their Home
Unclutter, reorganize, and get rid of anything that is no longer needed. This will make it easier for them to move around and find things. Maintaining a simple home will also help reduce their stress levels and make cleaning easier.
You can start by removing any unnecessary furniture or obstacles in their way and by installing grab bars, nonslip mats, automatic lights, and handrails in key areas. These can help prevent accidents and make it easier for them to get around. Additionally, you can use home health aides to help with basic tasks such as laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning.
Assist with Bathing and Dressing
Bathing and dressing can be difficult for aging adults. They may not be able to stand for long periods of time or reach certain areas of their bodies. If you can, try to bathe them every day, or every other day at least. When it comes to dressing, try to pick clothes that are easy to put on and take off. Velcro closures and elastic waistbands are good options. Having someone to assist them with these tasks can make life much easier.
You should also make sure their bathroom is safe and easy to use. Install grab bars and nonslip mats, and keep the floor clean and dry. Be sure to have a phone nearby in case of an emergency.
Prepare Meals in Advance
Preparing their meals ensure that it stays nutritious. Proper nutrition for aging loved ones includes a variety of foods from all food groups. This will ensure that they are getting proper nutrition and will save you time in the long run. Meal prepping can be a big help when it comes to providing healthy meals for your loved ones. Essential nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals are important for maintaining their health.
You can cook large batches of food on the weekends and store them in the fridge or freezer. This will make it easier for you to put together healthy meals on a busy weeknight. Another great option is to use a home meal delivery service. These services provide home-cooked meals that are tailored to the needs of seniors. They are a great way to ensure that your loved ones get the nutrients they need without spending hours in the kitchen.
Exercise with Them
Spending time together and breaking a sweat doesn’t just sound good–it’s great for your health! Even if it’s something as simple as a stroll around the neighborhood, getting active with your kids can benefit their overall wellness.
If you can’t go for a walk, there are plenty of other exercises you can do together. Many YouTube videos and online programs offer chair exercises for seniors. These are great because they can be done from the comfort of their home and don’t require any equipment.
Take Them on Outings
Social activities are important for maintaining their mental well-being. Getting out of the house and being around other people can help reduce their stress levels and improve their mood. Plus, it’s a great way to stay active and engaged. Being social is important to seniors because it can help stave off feelings of loneliness and isolation. Older people (60 and up) are at a greater risk of social isolation and loneliness, so taking them on diverse trips is critical. You may also consider joining a seniors’ social club or group. This is an excellent method for older individuals to meet new people and establish friendships.
Caring for an aging loved one can be challenging, so be patient and understanding. They may not be able to do things the way they used to, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still enjoy their life. It’s important to focus on their positive qualities and what they can still do rather than dwell on their limitations.
Show them that you love and care for them, and be there for them when they need you. These small gestures can make a big difference in their life.
These are just some of the many things you can do to make everyday life easier for aging loved ones. Just remember to be patient, understanding, and compassionate. With a bit of effort, you can make their life much easier and improve their overall health and well-being.