It takes a village to raise a child. But taking care of the elderly is much more difficult. Most aged people do not accept that they need help. They fear losing their independence. At times, their children/ caretakers may not know the right time or approach to offer assistance. There can be communication gaps, and the aged people may hesitate to articulate their feelings. Being out of work, senior citizens can feel lonely too.
But, it is time to take care of health and have an active social life. Thus giving emotional support and resolving their mental woes are essential. Below, we discuss the issues one is likely to face while looking after aging parents and ways to tackle them effectively.
As people age, they might suffer from incontinence issues. It is one problem that people are embarrassed to talk or seek help. Initially, urine leaks occasionally. If left untreated, it can lead to constant dribbles, and in the worst scenarios, people can lack control over bladder and bowel actions.
Frequent urge to urinate and bathroom visits can lead to accidents. Thus, using absorbent pads is recommendable. Most absorbent adult diapers wick moisture and are suitable for the whole day. It is advisable to go for absorbent pads with a wetness indicator as you can know that it is time to change.
The cause of incontinence could be many, like multiple sclerosis, stroke, dementia, diabetes, etc. Therefore, it is compulsory to consult a urogynecologist or a urologist.
Managing chronic health conditions:
Chronic diseases such as heart ailments, kidney-related issues, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, etc., require optimal management. At times, the aged person cannot carry out daily tasks. They need assistance in activities like cooking, shopping, and transportation. Unbearable pain adds further woes and interferes with self-health care. For example, they may not do the prescribed exercises, take medicines on time, and recognize the health deterioration. It might severely affect their mental health. Thus, the situations require a caregiver to be with the affected person. Often one might have to move in and live with them or take turns with other family members or friends. You can also consider hiring caregivers after making the elders understand the importance of help and support.
With advancing age, it becomes a must to have arrangements for emergency care. As a family member, one has to decide on hospitalization and medical care. Senior citizens with chronic conditions can experience a sudden deterioration of their health. For example, their blood sugar can become very low or high. Planning for such scenarios can reduce stress, expenses, and life-saving.
Aged people are more prone to falls and accidents. You can consider doing changes at home, such as providing extra handles and support, easier ways to raise emergency alarms, etc. One has to talk to them regarding driving safety measures and make arrangements for transportation facilities if needed. Aged people with memory issues like dementia face difficulties in handling money. They are more vulnerable to cyber frauds and security breaches. Thus, as a caregiver, you might have to manage their funds and take care of their financial needs.
Enhancing quality of life:
Aged people may lack the enthusiasm to socialize, especially after retirement. At times, physical difficulties may not let them move freely, and they confine themselves in the house. They often find the children and younger generation preoccupied. Thus, they can feel left out. Some aged people with ailments consider themselves a burden and may not openly talk about their issues. These situations can take a toll on their mental health and lead to a complete breakdown. Thus, taking care of their mental wellbeing is necessary. You can make them join hobby classes for elders, etc. It is recommendable to connect to people with similar difficulties and issues.
Managing work and other commitments:
While taking care of the elderly, it becomes difficult to manage work and other responsibilities. Not all can afford to take a break from work. At times, the situation becomes stressful for the caregiver. It can affect health and strain relationships with others. Therefore it is essential to have a support system and take care of mental and physical health.
Aging is a natural process. As people age, they are more likely to suffer from illnesses. Many tend to have anxiety and depression too. They can have memory loss. And, the best way to handle the situation is to keep them happy. Involve them in decision-making processes and explain the consequences of neglecting healthcare. Be friendly and responsible. They should freely articulate their feelings and fears. Loneliness can be detrimental to their emotional wellbeing. Therefore, it is advisable to invest in friendships and pursue hobbies from middle age. It helps to meet people with similar interests and develop a good bonding.