For most families, it can be stressful to watch close relatives enter their later years. Gradually, some elderly people might become less active and less independent than they used to be when they were younger. And often, without warning, the family awakes to find a dependent and stay-at-home granddad where there used to be a dynamic senior a few years ago. Unfortunately, age doesn’t spare anyone, and it can come with important damages to the physical and mental health of your loved ones. But don’t despair, there are still plenty of ways in which you can help them make the most of these years.
Be The Helper They Need
Firstly, if you want to be involved in improving their lifestyle, you can opt to organize the care they need. If your older relatives have remained independent, sometimes all it takes is to plan for a home improvement project for the necessary adaptations to be done. More and more seniors rely on stair lifts and shower seats to enjoy a comfortable life, and you can help them get the work done in a matter of a few hours up to a couple of days. Sometimes, their body does not allow for them to continue to lead an independent lifestyle, and you can offer to take care of them. You will need to take a carer’s assessment but this is an option that is worth considering if you are a stay-at-home mom or dad. Last but not least, do make sure that you don’t take any decision with the advice of a doctor, who will be able to tell you exactly what you need to look after to care for the physical and mental health of your relative.
Look For Professional Help
Not every situation can have such a happy ending, and it sometimes happens that you can’t take care of your elderly relative in your home, whether because you are lacking time, or room, or maybe they need special care that you can’t provide. As a rule of the thumb, you will find two types of support: The housing option is for those who have chosen to look for care homes, relative villages and sheltered housing to improve the quality of their lives. But if you are facing a difficult situation where your relative is visibly nearing the end of their life from old age or following a life-threatening illness, you can also ask for the a specialist palliative care nursing support to help provide the care and comfort that your loved one needs in the comfort of your home or in a hospice. Palliative care workers are also trained to help you deal with this situation, so feel free to talk to them openly about your fears and your feelings.
Don’t Give Up On Them
One of the first killers is not old age, but it’s people giving up on life. This is common in cases of depression. Unfortunately, depression is a lot more common in old age than you might think; more and more elderly people feel isolated from their families and rapidly fall into the vicious circle of low self-esteem and loss of interest. It’s important that you keep in touch with them and that you continue to show them that they still matter to you, even if old age, illnesses or mental diseases have damaged the person that you used to know.