Tips for adapting to the needs of caring for an older adult at home

The responsibilities of living with an older person include monitoring their physical and mental health.

When you have an older adult at home the whole family has to adapt to your needs and care with the love and respect you deserve.

n general, what you have to look for is food, a clean place to live, with a good relationship with your family and be attentive in a loving and positive way.

You have to consider that care changes depending on your level of self-sufficiency.

If the older adult is independent, you just have to make sure he or she doesn’t lack the basics, you have to help when they start struggling with self-care issues such as food and bathing, as well as the management of their money and their real estate.

They must also monitor their health, such as check-ups with the doctor, take their medicines, carry out the necessary studies and ensure that they do not live in seclusion.

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There has to be a person or a strategy so that he or she does not forget to take his or her medicines or consult with the doctor.

“It is very important to ensure that if the person can no longer go out alone that someone has the responsibility to take him or her and bring him or her in the turns he or she needs and the outdoor entertainment activities, because they also need freedom.

If the older adult needs more advanced care such as help with eating, dressing and bathing, among other things, you must be aware of the way they are done, always with a friendly treatment and showing affection.

What all the care has in common is that it has to be with a lot of love and affection because older adults tend not to want others to help them.

They were independent in their lives, so that becomes more acute or worse when they see overloaded attitudes, and they say: ‘well, don’t help me’, and they prefer to stay without bathing than have someone help them in a bad way or abuse them.

According to, it is also very important to pay attention to the caregiver, since he also has a high risk of being overburdened, feeling tired, depressed or desperate, and that in the long run has repercussions on both his health and the person he cares for.

“In part, the care of the older adult is the attention and care in the caregiver both by the doctor and by all his family.

Avoiding abuse and mistreatment

Older adults often have life-long habits that are difficult to change, but with family support they can be modified without verbal, psychological or physical aggression.

“Sometimes we abuse adults in different ways; the most obvious are physical abuse, beatings, burns, or physical and sexual assault.

“There is also psychological mistreatment in which his family constantly tells him their mistakes and what they fail in, what their deficits have been, and they even compare them to themselves as young people,” explains gacarers

Physical and verbal abuse affects people’s quality of life and occurs according to the dependence of the elderly.

“The more dependent they are, the greater their risk of being mistreated, a form of mistreatment is to infantilize them, because they themselves realize it and eventually defend themselves,” adds the expert.

Home Care

According to gacarers, if you care for an older adult at home, you have to consider the following infrastructure options to make it safer:

– The house should be a single-story house with no unevenness.

– The care area should be without steps and if there are any should be marked to show where they end and avoid accidents.

– The use of ramps in case the older adult uses a wheelchair.

– Put handrails on long aisles.

– Remove obstacles such as tables, rugs or wall decorations.

– Place grab bars in the bathroom and shower so they don’t struggle to stand up.

– Illuminate aisles with automatic lights.

Another option: asylum

When the older adult can no longer be cared for properly and there are no resources for a caregiver at home, it is important to consider nursing home care.

“When the family cannot care for them as needed, if it is a small family with small children in the home and the person has a situation that needs 100 percent care and does not have the resources to pay for a 24-hour caregiver, then it becomes almost impossible to care for them.

There are aspects to review if you decide to take them to this type of places:

– That it is a place with adequate size, ample and is not seen as storage. The size must be adequate for the number of patients they attend.

– It should have a temperate and comfortable climate regardless of the season.

– Do not have risk areas such as stairs or unprotected steps.

– The number of staff should be sufficient for the patients being seen.

– Cleanliness in all areas.

– Check if they are certified by government agencies in protection, hygiene and health.

– Keep records of each patient.

– That there is at least one doctor in charge who makes weekly or biweekly visits.


– You will be attended 24 hours a day.

– Adequate food at your hours.

– Control of your medicines.

– Stimulation activities with music, games or films, which keep them active or with rehabilitation.

– They socialize with people of their age.


– The main disadvantage is guilt, the mental taboo against nursing homes that generate depression both in the person entering and in the family.

– There is a risk that the family will not see them much (ideally they should go daily or at least 3 times a week).

– That there is no constant care and causes a risk of falls, pressure ulcers if they can not move well, not eat well and lose weight.

– Depression.

– Risks of mistreatment and misuse of your medications.

– Not all nursing homes accept sick or ailing seniors.