The challenges that come with taking care of an elderly relative as their primary caregiver as they go through physical hardships can be tough for everyone involved to deal with. Nevertheless, this is not a choice for most people in this situation. So dealing with those challenges in the best way possible is where your focus should be. Here’s what you should know about doing exactly that.
Time and Attention Are Always Valued and Appreciated
When you’re looking after someone, it’s just about the practical things or the logistical matters. Quite often, what they’ll appreciate most of all from you is your time and attention. These are always valued and simply being there to support them and offer some normality in the form of conversation can be the most important thing of all. That’s something you should try not to lose sight of.
Plan for Future Possibilities Too
When an elderly person starts to experience physical challenges due to their age and declining health, it’s important to think not just about how you can support them now but how their needs might develop going forward. Their situation might not improve and could gradually get worse, and that’s something that you’ll all need to be aware of and prepare for if you can.
It’s Best to Preserve Their Independence as Much as Possible
Of course, every situation and every person’s needs are unique to them. But as far as possible, you should try to make sure that you preserve the independence of the person you’re caring for. That way, they won’t feel like they’re having to depend on other people for everything. If there’s still things they can do for themselves and they want that, you should let them. It’s a point of pride for many people.
You Should Explore Financial Support Options
One thing you should definitely try to explore is the level of financial support that’s out there for you. Not everyone knows about programs such as CDPAP; these allow you to get paid for the care work that you’re doing, even if you’re caring for a family member. Don’t assume that the time and effort you’re putting in doesn’t warrant financial compensation, because it might well do.
Communication is Key
When you’re caring for someone, even if it’s someone you’re very close to, you need to remember that communication is key and it’s something that will always be key. You want to make sure that you’re listening to their needs carefully and properly addressing those needs via the care that you’re providing. Don’t take things for granted and try to keep communication open at both ends.
Taking care of a relative who’s experiencing health problems is always a challenge and there are going to be ups and downs along the way. But if you’re armed with the knowledge outlined above, you’ll be in a much better position to achieve positive outcomes both for them and for yourself.