April 9, 2023
Steps To Ease The Aging Process for Your Loved One
As our loved ones age, we may notice changes in their ability to complete daily tasks and maintain their independence. This can happen gradually as they age, or suddenly from acute illness. This can be a challenging time, both for the seniors themselves and for their family members who want to support them.
In this blog, we will explore the challenges that family members may face as they watch their loved ones grow older, and how they can help their loved ones maintain their independence.
Challenges for Family Members
As seniors struggle with their physical limitations, family members may feel emotional challenges. Watching a loved one struggle with tasks that they could previously do with ease can be difficult to witness, and it can be hard to know how best to support them. Family members may experience feelings of grief, guilt, and helplessness when they see their loved one struggling with daily tasks.
Don’t be afraid to seek help for yourself any way you might find helpful.
Increased caregiver responsibilities
As seniors become less independent, family members may need to take on increasing caregiver responsibilities. Providing care for a loved one can be time-consuming, and caregivers may need to balance their caregiving responsibilities with work and other family commitments. This can lead to feelings of burnout, exhaustion, and frustration. It’s important to be kind to yourself as you balance this additional workload with your normal responsibilities.
For some seniors, maintaining their independence may require costly modifications to their home or other expenses. This can place a financial strain on both the senior and their family members, especially if they do not have adequate insurance or savings to cover the costs of these modifications. There is often help available in these types of situations, and if that doesn’t work out, there are options for nursing home care that will keep them safe, clean, full and socialized.
Finding quality care
As seniors become less independent, family members may need to seek out additional care options. Finding quality care can be a daunting task, as family members want to ensure that their loved ones receive the best possible care. Additionally, the cost of these care options can be a concern for families. Explore all options and ask for advice and help from healthcare professionals, local senior citizens organizations, and on the internet.
Despite the challenges of supporting an aging loved one, there are steps that family members can take to help their loved ones maintain their independence and improve their quality of life.
Steps to Help
You can do this by providing support and guidance as their physical abilities change. Look into physical therapy to keep them as strong and fit as possible and help with nutrition as they need it.
Seek professional support
This includes healthcare providers and caregivers. They have seen situations like yours countless times before and can eliminate a lot of wasted time by guiding you through this challenging time.
Ensure that their home is safe and accessible
Make necessary modifications that allows them to maintain their independence as long as it is safely possible. This could be ramps, grab bars, a life alert button, or even a new shower that is more accessible.
Enlist the help of family and friends
Add anyone to your list who is willing to help and create a schedule of care. Who will cover meds and fill up the pill dispenser? Who will do bath time? Who will watch the game with Grandpa on Sunday? Get it all worked out so those that know they are not on the schedule can really relax and everyone knows all of the needs of the aging person will be covered.
Explore care options
Look into adult daycare or in-home care, that fit their needs and budget. Look ahead to the time when staying home will no longer be possible and where the family might agree they should go, and when that time will be apparent.
Assist with medication management
Missing doses of life saving medication is a serious problem. As mentioned above, they may need to have their pill dispenser filled for them so they are taking their medications correctly. There are pill dispensers with alarms to remind them to take their medication or even safe type dispensers that won’t let them take their medication until the correct time.
Stay informed about their health conditions and medications
Go with them to their Doctor’s appointments and build a relationship with him or her. Often when they go alone, they don’t remember what they were told and they don’t follow up with changes to their medications or lifestyle like they should.
Advocate for their rights and preferences
Ensure that their voice is heard and respected. While it isn’t always possible to keep someone at home even when they would prefer that, it’s important to them to feel part of the process and be included in all of the information being used to make decisions.
By taking these steps, family members can help their aging loved ones maintain their independence and improve their quality of life, while also reducing their own stress and anxiety about their loved one’s well-being. And when it comes time for your loved one to enter a nursing home, Sunset Senior Living would love to be on the top of your call list. We can answer any questions you may have about the process and help you resolve any challenges you face along the way. We are committed to compassionate and loving care.