Taking care of an older person is one of the greatest gifts that you may give in life. Whereas it is the norm for children and grandchildren to take care of the elderly in some cultures, it is not so throughout the world. Sometimes younger family members do not want to take care of seniors while at other times in it not possible.
Social changes in recent decades has seen a proliferation of retirement villages and nursing homes as seniors either opt to live on their own or to cared for by hired help. If you have decided to take care of senior family member or even a friend, there are are several points that you have to bear in mind. It is not an easy undertaking if you are much younger. But with patience and understanding it can be a rewarding experience for both parties.
Remember that an older person may not be able to move as fast as you do. Cater for the fact that they are not only slower to act but they can also be slower to react. You may need to minimize the chances of accidents occurring bybearing in mind that the ability of a senior to move about and react is slower than your ability. Be patient with their slowness and try to foresee any circumstances where the situation can be dangerous if they are not able to act or react as quickly as you do.
What you consider as being easy in terms of moving around and completing different tasks may not be so for an older person. They may not have the same stability or coordination as you do. Without certain mobility aids, they may become severely restricted which can contribute to poor health and even depression. You may have to invest a little in mobility aids but ultimately it makes the life of your senior resident more bearable and also eases some of the inconvenience for you.
Seniors are prone to accidents for several age-related and disease-related reasons. You may have to take certain measures to make your home safer for a senior to live and function within. Once again it may require some investment on your part but can spare your elderly resident from significant pain and debility later on. It may even be able to prevent death. Falls are by far the most common cause of injuries which may not be as simple to overcome with the impaired healing as you grow older.
Not only may seniors not wish to eat what you like but sometimes they may be unable to eat certain foods. Where circumstances permit, try to take your senior resident into account. It is not only about providing for their taste preferences. Seniors may have difficulty in chewing or swallowing, experience a loss of appetite and sometimes be unable to prepare meals for themselves. By selecting foods that are nutritious, convenient and preferential to an elderly person, you can help ensure that they get the nutrition they need.
A simple trip to the local doctor or clinic can be a mammoth task for a senior. Ensure that they have the resources to go for medical care and assist accordingly if you can. Just a few hours in helping a senior when you have the time can mean life and death in some instances. Apart from seeing a medical professional, many seniors are on chronic medication. Follow up on whether they took their daily medication and even assist them with it if they cannot do so themselves. Remember that age and disease can affect memory so you may have to be vigilant in this regard.