It can be hard watching your parents or other older relatives age, especially when their cognitive and physical functions may begin to slow down. However, as difficult as it may be to see your loved one enter their twilight years, it is important to remember that it is often just as, if not more so, difficult for them.
This is why it is important to care for them and remind them that you are there to support them in their older age, giving you both the peace of mind that their life will be as comfortable as possible when it otherwise becomes harder. Here are some ways you can do as such.
Loneliness is one of the most common circumstances that elderly people face, especially if they have lost their lifelong partner and now live alone. As such, it is important that you continue to make an effort to speak with the older relatives in your life.
Not only does this let them know that you still care about them, but it also allows you to check in on them and keep in the loop on their physical and mental wellbeing. Furthermore, studies have shown that seniors who regularly communicate with friends and family are generally healthier and happier, so by keeping in touch you will be reducing their likelihood of experiencing chronic illness, anxiety and depression.
Offering help in practical ways is another way to show that you care whilst making your loved one’s life easier. Struggling with mobility issues or other health problems can make life incredibly hard to navigate for elderly people, though many also feel too proud to ask for help, nor do they wish to lose their independence.
If you identify any issues where you believe they would benefit from support, then you can arrange this help for them, all whilst reassuring them that there is no shame in receiving support and that their life will be more comfortable as a result.
For example, if your relative has painful joints and struggles walking up and down the stairs, then you may arrange for them to have a new or reconditioned stairlift installed in their home, as well as adding grab bars in bathrooms and/or improving lighting to enhance visibility – all of which reduce their risk of having an accident.
Similarly, if they need more frequent support that you are unable to offer with your own physical time, but they also don’t wish to move into a care home, then you could arrange for a personal carer to visit and assist them.
As important as it is to care for your elderly relatives, it is just as important to remember to care for yourself. Whilst commendable, caring for ageing relatives can take a toll on both your mental and physical health. Remember to share your care responsibilities with others and be realistic with how much support you can give, so that you maintain a healthy balance in your own life.
Would a stairlift help your loved one? Here at Alfix, we offer a wide variety of stairlifts to help make life easier for the elderly and those with mobility issues. As well as installations, we also offer stairlift repairs, so you can expect the best customer care from us at all times! Call us now on 01926 334848.