3 Ways to Care for Your Elderly Relative

The world population is aging. It is now estimated that 10% of all people worldwide are aged 65 or over. In developed areas such as Europe, this figure is even higher at around 19% of the total European population. The main factors for an aging population include improved access to high-quality healthcare systems and healthier diets throughout a person’s life.

It should be recognized that an aging population will require a range of care and health solutions to combat some age-related problems that many older people will experience. If you have elderly relatives or loved ones, you will want to ensure that they receive the best possible care and that any ailments or conditions are effectively managed. In this article, three specific ways in which you can give high-quality care to elderly friends or relatives will be explored in detail.

Mobility and safety aids

Many older people find that in the later stages of life, their mobility levels can decline significantly. This is often because of a more sedentary existence. In senior life, there is no need to hold down a career, as most older people will be enjoying the benefits of retirement. However, not being in regular employment can make it easier to be restricted to the home and sit for extended periods of time. In the long term, this can lead to reductions in bone density which can increase the risk of sustaining serious injuries after a slip, trip, or fall. Low bone density can also lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis which may make sustaining fractures after a fall more likely.

Thankfully, there is a range of mobility aids that can help older people stay mobile and reduce the risk of injuries through falls. Common mobility aids include walking sticks or Zimmer frames. If the person’s mobility is minimal, then an electric wheelchair may be required to allow them to get outdoors. In terms of safety aids, bath and shower rails can be installed in the bathroom. These give the older person a secure hold when they are undertaking their daily hygiene routines and can reduce the risk of slips in the bath or shower. In addition, safety rails can be fitted to beds to ensure that they do not fall out of bed at night.

Regular social contact

It is of paramount importance that senior citizens enjoy regular social contact with others. Over time, if an older adult is isolated from friends or relatives (especially if they have lost a partner and live alone), they may start to experience poor mental health as a result. This can lead to an increased risk of experiencing common mental health problems such as depression, which can have a profoundly detrimental effect on a person’s enjoyment of everyday life.

If your elderly relative or loved one lives alone and has little contact with friends, it is important to visit them as often as possible. A simple conversation over coffee on a weekly basis can do wonders for a senior citizen’s well-being, as it makes them feel more wanted and connected with the outside world. In addition, try to ensure that you call elderly relatives on a regular basis to check in with them and share news from other family members. Ideally, you could suggest that the elderly relative uses a phone or laptop with video calling capabilities (if they are suitably tech-savvy) so that you can speak face to face as you chat.

In some communities, there may also be a dedicated bus service for older people, and often these services are free or have a minimal charge. Such community schemes can help to get older adults out for shopping trips and can be invaluable if the person no longer feels safe driving a vehicle.

Help with memory issues

As a final point, it is important to realize that a person’s memory may begin to reduce as they age. In many circumstances, this may not impact their everyday life and may just be a few occasions of being forgetful. However, if an older person’s memory declines to the point where they forget where their house keys are or that they have left the oven on, it may be wise to consider moving them into assisted living facilities for their own safety. Search online for memory care near me to find facilities that will be able to help elderly residents with their daily routines while minimizing any dangers that could be present by forgetting daily tasks and activities. Some assisted living facilities may even offer music therapies that have been shown to improve memory and recollection in older adults.