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Caring for an elderly family member

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CARING FOR AN ELDERLY FAMILY MEMBER

caring for an elderly family member

Caring for an elderly family member is a task that many of us will face sooner or later. In this article, we have gathered practical tips to help caregiver’s work.

Firstly, the most important thing is to measure how much help is needed for the patient. This can be very different from person to person. To be able to identify what these tasks are and how much time / energy it will take, it is worthy to go through the two lists below. These activities are very important for our elderly family member to be able to live their everyday lives properly.

Elderly care: Daily routines and activities

First of all, you should start by checking daily activities.

Everyday activities are basic tasks that are necessary for someone to be able to spend their days in comfort. We distinguish five main activities:

  • Personal hygiene: Includes bathing, oral hygiene, hair and nail care.
  • Continence management: A person’s mental and physical ability to use the bathroom properly.
  • Clothing, dressing: Of course, it includes the ability to dress on, on the other hand it also includes the ability to choose the right outfit for an occasion.
  • Eating: The ability to eat independently.
  • Exercise: You don’t necessarily have to think about sports: it’s more about being able to move and walk independently at home.

These tasks are often related. If a person is unable to do one task on their own, they may have problem with several others.

In case of a permanently bedridden patient, we need to pay attention on other factors. For example it is necessary to prevent bedsore.

Bedsore can occur when skin tissue gets damaged by permanent pressure and parts of the body are exposed to constant pressure for a long time. This reduces the blood supply to the area, causing the tissue to die. These parts will become more sensitive and more likely to get irritated, ulcers may develop.

The best defense against bedsore is to try to prevent it. Dermolex anti-decubitus gel can help by preventing successfully. You can read more about the gel, usage and reviews of specialists, nurses and family members here.

Elderly care: Effective daily activities

elderly family member with caregiver outdoors

This category is a bit more complex, but it also includes activities that contribute to our elderly family member being able to live their daily lives properly.

Effective daily activities are like:
  • Social needs: these needs refer to the basic need to have relationships with others: It shows how much social contact and help a person needs in order to maintain a positive attitude towards life.
  • Travel and shopping: the ability to do shopping and redeem a prescription on their own.
  • Cooking: the ability to plan, shop, properly store, and prepare purchased meals
  • Keeping the household in order: the ability to clean their home and wash their clothes
  • Medication management: the ability to redeem a prescription and take the prescribed amount of medicines daily
  • Communication: the ability to control incoming letters, communicate with others on phone or on the Internet.
  • Financial Management: the ability to pay bills on time and manage bank account alone.

Who will carry out these tasks?

Of course, there will be activities, where a caregiver’s help is especially needed. However it is definitely worthy looking through the points on the two lists above as well. In addition, an another thing can be helpful too. We recommend you to write down all the things when you (or somebody else) have helped your family member. With this method, you can get an almost accurate view of how much time, energy and money it takes to you to care for your elderly family member.

The next step is to determine who will carry out these tasks. Take as much responsibility which is not detrimental to your own physical and mental health. If you think you can’t deal with everything properly, feel free to ask for help. This help can come from many places like:

  • There are several institutions with organizations for the elderly: they organize social events for example: gymnastics lessons, and provide hairdressing and beauty treatments for the elderly.
  • Meals can be provided by food delivery companies and restaurants with daily menus.
  • You can also ask a neighbor’s help in shopping, redeem a prescription, or we can arrange them with home delivery.
  • Depending on the health condition of our family member, we can also ask for home care services.
  • Alternatively, placing your family member in a nursing home may be a solution too. Of course, we have to pay attention whether he/she can make friends at such a place, and we also have to count with the financial consequences.

Summary

To sum it up, caring for an elderly family member requires a lot of attention and devotion. We can make our things easier if we know exactly what are the tasks we need to do. In case we feel we can’t take care of everything, don’t be ashamed to ask for help.

 

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