10 Things You Should Know When Taking Care of the Elderly

As we get older, everything that we once took for granted becomes harder. Very often, you’ll need friends and family around to take care of you. 

If one of your loved ones needs caring for, then it may seem natural that you take responsibility for looking after them. 

It is important to understand how much work is involved in caring for aging parents. Elder care is a full-time job. It will be challenging both physically and emotionally. 

Here are ten things that you should know when taking care of the elderly. 

1. You Must Keep Their Medication Organized

An essential aspect of elderly care is ensuring that they’re getting the medical treatment that they need. They may be on medication for a variety of conditions. 

You should ensure that you know about all of their medical conditions. In addition to this, you should get to know their medications including: 

  • When they need to take the medication
  • What the dosage of the medication is
  • When you can get repeat prescriptions

You may need to administer their medication or check daily that it is being taken. 

2. When Taking Care of the Elderly You May Need To Carry Out Housework

If your elderly relative has limited mobility, then they may need help with the housework. 

This will almost certainly mean that you will need to clean their entire home for them, but it may also involve smaller tasks such as washing the dishes. 

3. Safety Supervision Is Essential 

Since mobility is an issue for many elderly people, that are certain risk factors that you need to be aware of. You may need to supervise your elderly relatives throughout the day to make sure that they don’t have any accidents. 

You should also make sure that their home environment is safe for them. This could include making sure that:

  • The home is free from clutter
  • That walkways are free from trip hazards
  • There are handrails throughout the house
  • That there are stairlifts

Go through the home and identify anything that could be a potential risk and do something about it. 

4. You Should Create a Bathing Routine 

Personal hygiene is important to the health of your loved one.

Where possible, you should try to ensure that your elderly relative is able to maintain some level of independence in their washing and bathing. To do this, provide handrails and showers and baths that are easy to get in and out of. 

Where someone is unable to wash for themselves, you may need to help them. 

It is important that you create a washing a bathing routine so that your loved one will be able to remain clean at all times. 

This will be especially important if your elderly relative in incontinent or is bed-bound as sores may form if hygiene isn’t maintained.

5. You’ll Need To Cook For Your Elderly Relative

Unless your elderly relatives are able to cook for themselves, you may need to do this for them every day. 

It is important that you consider providing a healthy and balanced diet that is varied and interesting. 

To save yourself time and energy, you may choose to batch cook some meals to be reheated at a later date.

6. You May to Help Move Your Elderly Relative 

If your loved one has issues surrounding their mobility, it will be important that you help them get around. 

You may need to lift and carry them. If you do need to do this, follow safety advice, and don’t put yourself at risk. There may be equipment that you can get to help you to safely lift your loved ones. 

7. You Should Help Your Elderly Relative Exercise

Keeping as active as possible is essential. Even if your elderly relative has mobility problems, there will be exercises that they can do. This may be doing simple movements with their arms and feet. 

Find some basic exercise routines online and join them in doing these every day.

8. There Will Be Errands To Run

Your loved ones will need errands running often. If they are unable to get out to do them themselves, then you should do them. 

You may need to shop, return library books, or pay bills on their behalf. Try to keep a routine so that you keep on top of the errands that need to be done. 

9. You May Need To Help Your Elderly Relative Through Hospital Procedures

If your elderly relatives have had to go into hospital for a procedure, you’ll need to help them with their aftercare. 

Listen as the doctor discusses what needs to be done in terms of aftercare. You may also need to tackle them back to the hospital for follow up appointments.

10. You Will Need to Provide End of Life Care 

Perhaps one of the most difficult things that you will have to cope with when you are caring for an elderly relative is the fact that you may need to provide end of life care. 

One of the important things about caring for someone during their last few months is knowing when to call hospice. With all the best will in the world, there will be times when caring for your elderly loved one will get too much for you. 

It is essential that you take a break too. This is particularly important if you’re engaged in providing emotionally draining end of life care. 

Are You Able to Provide the Care Your Elderly Relative Needs?

Taking care of the elderly is hard work. In fact, in many respects, it is a full-time job. You will need to consider how physically demanding caring for a loved one will be, as well as the emotional burden. 

If you choose to go down this route, make sure that you have a support network in place. This should include a respite care center, as well as friends and family who can help you. 

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