America is on the brink of becoming “grayer” than it has ever been before. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are going to be more older adults living in the country than children for the first time in American history by the time 2035 rolls around.
This is going to make taking care of elderly people even more important than it’s been in the past. Children, young adults, and middle-aged people are going to have to learn the best possible ways to care for those who are aging. According to Jane Byrne, Project Manager at a Wicklow nursing home, “If you’re not able to devote the necessary time to taking care of elderly people, bring in someone to help with the job. There is no shame in calling on a professional to deliver the care that an elderly person needs”.
Here are ten tips for taking care of elderly people that you can use when tending to the older adults in your life in the coming years.
1. Visit the Elderly Early and Often
Taking care of elderly people can be a little bit of a time-consuming process. You’re going to need to get into the habit of stopping by their home on a regular basis to see how they’re doing.
Even if an elderly person appears to be in great health and fully capable of taking care of themselves, you should still visit them as often as you can. It’ll give you a chance to check up on them and see if they need any assistance from you.
2. Make Sure the Elderly Take Their Medications
It’s incredibly rare to find an elderly person who isn’t taking at least a few medications. In fact, studies have shown that about 25% of those over the age of 65 take more than five medications.
The medications that are prescribed to elderly people aren’t going to do them much good, though, if they don’t actually take them. It’s why you need to stay on top of the elderly when it comes to making sure they’re taking their prescribed medications at the proper times.
3. Modify Homes to Keep the Elderly Safe
There are some elderly people who are able to get around inside their homes just fine without any modifications. But there are also many who need to have their homes modified to keep them safe.
Some of the most common modifications include:
- Installing ramps to allow for the use of wheelchairs and walkers
- Putting handrails into areas near toilets and showers
- Plugging nightlights with sensors in them into walls to provide light at night
Talk to elderly people are how you can help modify their homes to make them safer overall.
4. Use Technology to Keep a Close Eye on the Elderly
Technology has helped those in charge of taking care of elderly people in a big way.
They can touch base with elderly people via cell phone at any time of the day or night. They can also install cameras in main living areas to keep a watchful eye over the elderly.
If you’re not utilizing technology to take care of an elderly loved one, you’re passing up on a huge opportunity.
5. Find Ways for the Elderly to Stay Active
Most elderly people can’t get around like they used to. But that shouldn’t stop them from trying to stay active.
Encourage the elderly to get up and get out of the house every so often. Even something as simple as a walk around the block will get their blood flowing and lift their spirits.
If an elderly person is feeling especially adventurous, you might even want to enroll them in fitness classes designed for the elderly at your local gym. It can work wonders for their health.
6. Play Games With the Elderly to Keep Their Minds Sharp
Studies have suggested that just about everyone starts to experience memory loss to some degree as they get older. This memory loss begins to affect some people when they’re as young as 45.
There are lots of games that you can play with an elderly person to keep their mind sharp and their memory strong. From crossword puzzles to video games, you can go as low or high tech as you want.
7. Cook for the Elderly to Ensure They’re Eating
It’s not uncommon for elderly people to deal with a decline in appetite as they get older. In some instances, their medications zap them of their appetite. In others, they lose their appetite over time simply because they don’t make it a point to eat three meals every day.
Consider cooking for the elderly to provide them with the sustenance they need. They’ll be able to get access to the nutrients their bodies crave when you prepare healthy meals for them.
8. Encourage the Elderly to Socialize With Others
A lack of socialization is one of the hardest things that the elderly have to deal with. Since most elderly people don’t work anymore and spend a lot of time at home, they don’t come into contact with many other people.
Encourage the elderly to find ways to socialize with others. By spending a few days down at the local senior center or getting involved with a church, they can get the socialization they need.
You can also check out companionmatters.com to learn about another option for those who want to provide the elderly with companionship.
9. Speak With the Elderly About Their Finances
It’s not easy to talk about money with people of any age. But it can be particularly hard to do it with an elderly person.
Don’t let that stop you from trying to do it anyway! Many elderly people live on fixed incomes and don’t always take care of their finances like they used to.
Do what you can to make sure the elderly have enough money to live on and are doing what they can to keep their finances in order.
10. Hire Someone to Help With Taking Care of Elderly People
Look around for the right caregiver for your loved one. They should be capable of doing everything from dishing out medications to cooking hot meals.
Use These Tips to Care for an Aging Family Member or Friend
Taking care of elderly people presents a unique set of challenges. These challenges can make it a real struggle for some people to care for elderly family members and friends.
If you find yourself in a tough situation right now, use the tips found here to make it better. You can start delivering the best possible care to the elderly by finetuning your approach.
Keep reading our blog for more tips on taking good care of the elderly people in your life.