Caring for Older Loved Ones

Most older people are happy to continue living in their own homes for as long as they can, though for most of us there is a time when we are no longer able to care for ourselves effectively without assistance. There are several options for elder care that should be explored. What works for one family might not work for another, and what works for yours today might need to change tomorrow. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you make the best decisions possible to help your loved ones age gracefully.

Understand Their Needs

It can be difficult to decide whether to encourage your loved one to relocate or to provide some extra care in their home if you’re not sure exactly what they need. To make matters more difficult, many people are hesitant to admit they need help. It may take some time and careful observation to find out which daily activities your loved one can handle on their own and which they might need some assistance with. Also keep in mind, they will likely need more assistance as time passes.

Dailycaring.com recommends keeping notes for the first few weeks you provide care so that you can determine just how much time you and others are spending seeing to your loved one’s needs.

Avoid Burnout

Once you know how much care your loved one requires, it’s important to consider whether you can realistically provide it. Your own health needs to come first, and if you burn out you won’t be able to care for anyone. Take it easy and know your limits, and enlist professional assistance when it becomes necessary.

It may be that you do such a good job of providing care that other family members who may be able to help instead imagine that you’re doing fine on your own. If you feel like you need a break, or like the workload is too much, ask someone to help share the responsibilities.

Because every family is different, you’ll need to be creative about how you accomplish your loved one’s care. Think of who’s available to help and what sort of help they can best provide.

Make Use of Meal Services

A big problem for aging loved ones who live alone can be taking care of meals by themselves. Traveling to the grocery store, cooking and cleaning takes a lot of time, especially when limited mobility becomes an issue. Seniors are at special risk for malnutrition, which can spark a downward spiral of problems related to health and well-being.

Healthy, nutritious meals are a must for all of us, and making sure your elder loved one has access to healthy food via an affordable meal service in their area is one of the best things you can do to keep them in good health.

Get Help With Finances

Paying out of pocket for elder care can be prohibitively expensive. Thankfully, there are options available from government and private benefits programs. You may also be able to receive payment from these programs for any care that you provide.

There are also private programs available for seniors to get assistance (up to $5,000 per year) paying for prescription drugs. These programs offer to help with Medicare copays, and they can be a lifesaver. Depending on your loved one’s financial situation, you could also talk to an attorney about the possibility of spending down to qualify for Medicaid.

Kohler Walk-In Tubs

For an elder loved one who still owns their home, or who has moved into yours, installing a walk-in tub can be a great benefit to both of you. Walk-in tubs can allow people who would otherwise need assistance bathing to be able to do it on their own, preserving their ability to have privacy in the bathroom for many additional years.

Kohler’s walk-in tubs feature the lowest threshold in the industry, making ingress and egress easier than with any other tub. Heated seats and comforting jets further improve the experience, creating a spa-like environment for anyone who uses the tub. 

If you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift for your elder loved one, call Home Forever Baths for a free consultation about installing a quality Kohler walk-in bath in Northern Illinois. Our friendly, expert installers can replace a shower or traditional tub with a Kohler walk-in bath in one or two days in most cases. Give the gift of autonomy this year and call today about a Kohler walk-in bath.