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We all have the potential to be a helper or caregiver to a friend, neighbor, parent, or anyone the Lord puts in our pathway. Training is essential, but having a heart for the person you care for is more than half of the battle. If you have the heart to help, you will be a caregiver. If you can treat the person you are giving care to the way you would want to be taken care of, that is the Golden Rule that will benefit everyone involved! I was blessed to be able to take care of my mom for the last eight years of her life. ~Bill Greguska
Ephesians 6:2-3“Honor your father and mother”—the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
That is why I felt that when my mom was in her 80’s when my stepdad Charley died. There was no question that I would take care of my mom as the primary caregiver for eight years. My mom clarified that she did not want to go into a nursing home. We worked things out by moving her back into her original house where I was living. Thankfully my mom was very intellectually sharp, yet her body was breaking down from diabetes, Asthma.
That is understandable if you can not care for your parents, but many good caregiver companies can help you with your aging parents. I am working at “Right At Home Caregivers,” and I highly recommend them.
If you are taking care of an elderly loved one, the most extensive advice I can share is “To take care of them as you want them to care for you.
This is the golden rule found in Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Elderly Care For Your Parents And Loved Ones!
Here Are A Few Tips On How To Care For An Elderly Loved One!
Treat the elderly as you would want to be treated someday.
Be aware of who to call for information when needed.
Have an awareness of their diet, medication, and limitations.
Post emergency contacts, phone numbers, and addresses on the refrigerator.
Check expiration dates on medication and foods. Dispose of all medications and food properly that are no longer good or needed.
Understand the older person by getting to know them and asking questions about their life. Reminisce about their past.
Be aware that they have their habits and familiar ways and work around their needs.
Have a flashlight by the bed in case of emergency.
Make sure the chairs and recliners are safe and solid.
Have safety precautions such as rails, ramps, and other basics.
Consider getting a raised toilet seat. Use rubber mats in the bathtub.
If you do not know something, contact the doctor, pharmacist, nurse, or whoever has the answers you need to help them.
Try to think about what they like, dislike, love, and fear, and comfort them in any way you can.
In your mind, be their bodyguard, meaning make sure they do not trip, fall, or get hurt.
Clearly mark the stove with tape or nail polish dials, especially the OFF position.
Have fun with them and share parts of your life when appropriate, but do not weigh them down with your problems.
14 Tips for Elderly Care at Home
You must plan well ahead about how you will care for your aging seniors. The best way to go is to –
Equip your home to make it elderly ready
Ensure the health and safety of the elders
Help with money issues and protection of funds
Help the elders get socially connected
Equip Your Home
If you have elders staying at home, you must prepare the house for them. However, most seniors prefer staying on their own because they don’t want to burden their kids.
In such cases where they plan to stay independently, you need to do the following 14 things:
1. Make Changes In The House
Making small changes in the house can save a lot of trouble. Like you can take care of the following –
Remove all kinds of extra cluttered furniture around the house that might make it difficult for your elders to move around freely.
Have grab bars near the toilet and the shower. I know they don’t look good – but they are a must.
Smoke detectors with a vibrate feature or strobe lighting can wake seniors when conventional devices don’t.
Anti-scald devices for showers and faucets protect older skin and prevent severe burns. Or set the water heaters at 120 degrees – to a “low” temperature.
Ensure all cables and wires are tucked away to prevent slips or falls.
Install non-skid mats, strips, or pads in the toilet, bathtub or shower, and other slippery areas of the house.
Carbon monoxide detectors are suggested as older adults are at risk of even a low concentration of the deadly gas.
Make sure there are night lights installed at strategic places around the house so that when your elders go to the bathroom or fetch water at night, they can find their way around.
You can add a lot more to the list for better elderly care at home, so do that in the comments section.
2. Keep Track
If your parents or elders are going to be alone at home, you need to make them comfortable and safe.
Some families use unique elderly care products at home that rely on strategically placed motion sensors to track sensors sensorssensors to keep trackof their elders.
No microphones or cameras are used, so the pry remains intact, and these sensors send an alarm or message if anything out of the ordinary occurs. If your parents are tech-savvy, a mobile phone would be ideal, or a website update every 2-3 hours would keep you less worried.
3. Hire Someone
Sometimes the distances are far, and you cannot be with your loved ones or elders, even though you want to.
In such cases, you can think of hiring a skilled professional that you can find from various agencies or places.
They can help by being companions, helping out when your elders need them, or even taking them to the doctor in emergencies.
Thankfully, we get paid help on our end if need be, though we need to get them registered with their proper identity proof before keeping them.
4. Cater For Expenses
You need to anticipate the expenses when you take care of your elders who aren’t living with you. You need to pay for a few services to maintain your health and independence.
These could be a helper or caretaker if any, and the amount they would charge. Or it could also cover their health charges, routine check-ups, and daily expenditures – if they depend on you.
5. Visit Them Often
The time you spend with your elders makes a difference to them as they look forward to being with you. Also, if you visit them, you will often know whether they are safe, living well, and emotionally sound.
You can keep an eye open for any changes – like if the house is unkempt, there is unopened mail lying around, plants not watered, soiled clothes, any bruises indicating they had a fall, etc. Ensure your elders have good neighbors who can keep checking in often—Health and Safety of elders. You must ensure your elders are healthy and safe; to do that, you must take specific measures.
6. Regular Exercise
It’s a well-known fact that if older people exercise regularly, they remain protected from diseases, making them functionally younger by 10 to 15 years. So, let them start with light exercises and something they can do, and later they can take up more depending on their capability.
I’m glad my Dad’s very health-conscious. He plays golf daily and is very particular about his daily walks, yoga, meditation, and following a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet.
7. Be Careful With Medicines
Sometimes your elders living independently might have to live under supervision due to poor medication management.
They see various specialists but take prescriptions from a single pharmacist, who might need to be better and more trustworthy.
You need to ensure that the prescribed medications have no side effects and don’t interact with other medicines.
Also, ensure that the pharmacist is honest and of repute, as sometimes they can repackage pills that shouldn’t be taken by making them look all new. Another critical point is to ensure your parents or elders don’t mix up their medicines, as this problem does arise with old age. Reasons could be many: poor eyesight, memory problems, sleepiness, or other health issues. Sometimes, I’ve seen my Dad take some medicines that he was supposed to take at a different time because he was preoccupied. You can label the medication and put them in separate drawers or compartments, making it easy for your parents or elders to find them.
8. Driving Problems
It’s tough to handle parents or elders at home and tell them not to drive. Especially once age catches up, you see they aren’t able to go as well as before. You can see the changes when their cognitive abilities begin declining, their reaction time lessens, their body stiffens, and their driving err.
If your parents or seniors are told not to drive, some even become stubborn enough and refuse to listen to you.
It’s best to sit and explain things to them, and if they remain adamant, suggest hiring a driver. Again, I’ve done the same for my Dad, even though he can drive – just being safe.
9. Stay Away From Scams
If your elders stay away from you, they are vulnerable to many scams. It could be anything from their telephone or mobile investments to their usage of credit cards.
You should get your parent’s credit cards checked periodically and get to know if they haven’t landed in any scams. Don’t forget to keep track of their bills too.
10. Talk About Finances
If your parents depend on you, it makes sense to have open discussions about the monetary aspects.
Be open with them, seek their advice, suggest your ways, and chalk out something that works best for both sides.
I think you should be frank enough to let them know how much you can offer and see if it fits well for you.
Please complete all the paperwork beforehand. Like a power of attorney, just in case you need it if your parents or elders can no longer control their finances.
It’s recommended that seniors add a second person with a detailed photograph, whether a friend or professional, who will also be there to keep a check on things.
Similarly, let your parents make their will and keep it in safe custody with the lawyer or whatever they prefer. Your parents and elders also feel happier when all of this is done.
12. Get The Elders Involved
The best way to reconnect them with the world is to involve your elders in socially valuable activities. Now that they don’t have to manage kids or careers, most seniors like the opportunity to reach out and help others. With age setting in and their losses, many elders become isolated and lonely, while others suffer from depression.
Take care of your elders and ensure they stay connected with the rest of the world.
They have years of wisdom to pass on to others. And they prefer doing this to sitting at home doing nothing or watching television.
Your parents or seniors could also join voluntary programs or participate in educating those who need it – their way of helping others.
Sadly, a few elders prefer remaining at home, leading to unhappiness, depression, and other ailments. They feel they don’t have a purpose in life any longer. Life doesn’t end when they get old, which you need to convey to them.
13. Make Friends
If you are busy and can’t take care of your parents and elders, it’s good for them to make friends with people of their age group.
They can mix with others and visit clubs or join standard hobby courses. Small things like walking together, playing games or cards, shopping, or talking can help your elders feel better. Remember, at their age – it’s the company they seek more than anything else. I see my mother-in-law in a similar situation and often wish I could spend more time with her. If they have lost their spouse, their life can be very lonely.
14. Sharing Meals
Your elders might have problems preparing their meals or lose interest in cooking. It could be due to a lack of interest, depression, or other health issues.
I read about congregate meals that often take place at senior centers. Such group meals are a lifeline for elders who can’t prepare meals.
Moreover, they remain happy in the company of others in a similar place and situation.
In 2007, my pastor Ron Sauer and his wife Sue encouraged me to encourage others, knowing that I was struggling in my own life. They were wise to know that if I reached out to help other people with their problems, my problems would be put into a better perspective. Yes, and it did help! Please read 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. If you do not have a relationship with God by chance, I encourage you to get to know Him. I hope you find the encouragement you need on our website, no matter your situation. ~ Bill Greguska