How to Care for Aging Loved Ones
By Amber Kevlin, RN
Visiting elderly loved ones can sometimes be difficult to plan, especially if there has been a decline in physical activity since you have visited them last. Seniors tend to choose activities based on their bodily limitations. Disease, pain, and chronic conditions may alter family plans, but there’s no need to shelve family gatherings yet! If aging family members are seemingly struggling with a rigorous family outing, there are still plenty of activities to engage them and keep them connected with family.
- Engage in sentimental pastimes. Whether it’s baking fresh bread or cookies, building ships in bottles, or watching old favorite movies, everyone loves it when their hobbies can be shared and enjoyed by others.
- Reminisce with them. Crack open the old family photo albums or yearbooks, and let your loved one recall long- treasured memories of friends and family past. Even seniors with memory impairment issues may keep long ago memories close to their hearts and can remember certain things with intricate detail.
- Do some research online with your loved one. Even after the visit is over, you still want your family members to remain engaged and as active as possible to avoid the loneliness and isolation that sometimes come with aging. Help your loved one find a nearby book club or interest-geared groups, such as bird-watching or knitting, or even a nearby veteran’s association.
If you notice a change in your aging family member’s behavior, such as depression or withdrawal from usual activities, consider home care services for companionship. Oftentimes, an in-home caregiver may also help with housekeeping, meal preparation, and running errands as well. Aging adults need recreation and social connections to stay happy and healthy, just like everyone else.
Are you or a loved one looking for in-home elderly and senior services? My Choice Home Care is a senior care service that serves clients in Macon County, Jackson County, and Haywood County in North Carolina. Counties served in Georgia are Rabun County, Towns County, and Habersham County. The counties served in Upstate South Carolina are Oconee County, Pickens County, and Anderson County. Call (828) 200-9000 or visit our website to speak to someone today if you or a loved one would like to enjoy the benefits of living independently in your own home.
By Amber Kevlin, RN
Being a caregiver is a very difficult position, especially if you are caring for aging parents or family members. The exhaustion that comes with not only being a caregiver, but trying to manage your own life affairs can be a terrible strain on your mind, body, and emotions. As they say, “You cannot pour from an empty cup.” Here are some tips on managing the stress of caring for an elderly loved one in your home:
- Search for local senior resource centers that may be able to help you find adult day programs, where your loved one can spend a few hours engaging in enriching activities led by a volunteer, giving you a few respite hours each week.
- Ask other family members to help out, if possible. It’s hard to ask for help, but taking care of yourself is essential for a healthy balance as a caregiver.
- Spend any respite time you get doing something specifically for you! Enjoy a hobby or outdoor activity, deviating from your usual schedule. Find a local painting class or group yoga, or ask a friend out for a cup of coffee and relaxed conversation.
- Look into speaking with a therapist. A licensed professional can help you navigate confusing emotions, and avoid feelings of resentment and grief that can often come with being a caregiver. Understanding that these feelings are commonly associated with caregiving can also relieve any guilt that may be building up as well.
- Look into local in-home care services for either full-time, part-time, or even just a few weekend respite hours. Knowing that your loved one is being cared for by an experienced caregiver can alleviate any worries you may have when leaving your loved one at home. Many in-home care agencies can not only help with bathing, grooming, and toileting issues, they can also help with running errands, meal preparation, and driving to doctors appointments.
Taking care of an aging loved one is hard, but taking time to care for yourself can sometimes prove to be even harder. Sometimes putting yourself first is needed in order to provide the healthy balance between living your life, and helping someone else live theirs.
My Choice Home Care is a senior care service that serves clients in Macon, Jackson, and Haywood Counties in North Carolina. Counties served in Georgia are Rabun, Towns, and Habersham. Counties served in Upstate South Carolina are Oconee, Pickens, and Anderson. Visit us or call (828) 200-9000 to speak to someone today if you or a loved one would like to enjoy the benefits of living independently in your own home.
Planning on Aging
Growing older seems to creep up on you until one day, something happens to make you realize you may not have planned on aging. Whether it’s a fall, a chronic health issue, or a decline in memory or mobility, life is sure to throw its share of surprises at you when you least expect it. Below are two of the most important ways to prepare for your aging journey.
Getting your legal documents in order should be your priority, even before aging. Even if your family members know what you want, these issues can quickly become complicated, legally and within the family. Getting your advanced directives together can cut down on the confusion of what to do in a situation where you may not be able to make decisions on your own. A POA, or power of attorney, which is usually a spouse or trusted loved one, will act on your behalf in the event of a medical emergency should you not be able to make your own choices. Advanced directives also include written directives and a living will that list your end-of-life wishes, such as whether or not you would like to be put on life-support. These documents are paramount to making end-of-life decisions easier for you and your family.
Being able to live independently in your own home is what everyone wishes for, but is not the reality for many. If certain planning is not put into place, an aging adult may face the decision of having to move due to financial reasons, or because their home is not set up to accommodate the limitations of growing older. Larger homes become unmanageable, stairs become impossible to climb, and bathtubs and showers become dangerous areas. Modifications can be put in place, such as no-slip mats, shower grab bars, and stair chairs, but having someone either in the home or close by to help can keep seniors and aging adults in their homes for much longer. Searching for local resources such as home-care services can help provide relief for seniors and respite for loved ones and caregivers, and help to maintain the home. In-home care services can include housekeeping, meal preparation, and errand running, among many other services.
My Choice Home Care is a senior care service that serves clients in Macon, Jackson, and Haywood County in North Carolina. Counties served in Georgia are Rabun, Towns, and Habersham. The counties served in Upstate South Carolina are Oconee, Pickens, and Anderson. Call (828) 200-9000 to speak to someone or contact us today if you or a loved one would like to enjoy the benefits of living independently in your own home.