Most of us, at one point, will have to take care of an elderly loved one day. Whether that will be our parents, grandparents or people you work with. With that being said, it is super important to know how to take care of the elderly and how to do so with respect, dignity and care. With these few tips, you will have the basic knowledge and information to do so in a proper manner.
- Effective Listening
Effective listening is number one because of many reasons. First of all, chances are that the elderly you are taking care of probably does not have many visitors or if they do, it’s probably very limited. When you do get to see them, give them your full attention because a study has shown that 1 in 3 people aged 45 and older feel lonely and 1 in every 4 people aged 65 and above are socially isolated. With that being said, just giving them your full attention and practicing effective listening is something they most likely recognize and really appreciate as it makes them feel less alone in that short period of time.
2. Be Cautious
Being cautious when you are taking care of an elderly person is super important. Because they are normally not as strong as someone who is younger, you need to always make sure that you are not putting them at risk for anything. For example, if you are sick with a flu or an illness, it would be smart to not go in to visit that days due to their weakened immune system. Another thing is to make sure that you are up to date about their medication. Many elderly people are on some sort of medication or supplement so if you are taking care of your elderly loved one, just make sure that you are not forgetting their daily medication because depending on what it is, it can be crucial.
3. Treat Them How You Want To Be Treated
Elderly people are human just like us. We need to remember to always treat them with kindness, just like how we would like to be treated. Don’t treat them like a baby simply because they are older. Many elderly people can sense that and if that’s the case, they can feel demeaned or put down. Always treat them like you would treat anyone, regardless of their age or disability.
4. Have Fun But Be Mindful
When you are taking care of someone who is elderly, you want to make sure that you both are having fun but be mindful of their condition. For example, you wouldn’t suggest going ice skating or hiking with someone who has a hard time walking and needs a cane to get around. It would put both of you in a very awkward situation. When deciding what to do, think of appropriate activities to do while being mindful of the individual that you are with and their conditions or disabilities. Make sure it is something that they can do and that they would be interested in doing as well.
These are just some tips on how to effectively take good care of an elderly loved one. Practicing effective listening, being cautious, treating them how you would like to be treated and having fun while being mindful are the 4 most important things you need to know and once you start implementing these rules into the day spent with your elderly loved one, you will see how big of a difference you will make!