Apr 6, 2012

A Guide to Caring for the Elderly at Home

Caring for the elderly at home does not need to uproot your lifestyle and become a huge burden. Looking after the elderly is much like looking after yourself and the needs are the same with some variations. Caring for any person, whether a child, or an adult, can be tedious, stressful, costly and worrisome, but it does not need to be this way. There are plenty of home nursing agencies that will be able to augment the care that you give your loved one and ease some of the pressure without a huge financial burden.

How to prepare for aged care
Elderly care does not require a drastic change of lifestyle. The things you will need for your home are much like those which are required for a baby but in larger sizes. Depending on the needs of the family member, there are different levels of help that can be arranged and organised for day to day support.

Elderly care often requires medical safety beds, and other specialised equipment. The processes of care are often very similar but elderly care comes with a level of understanding and response that will ease the processes infinitely. Tedium and frustration with aged care often comes in at this point when elderly individuals refuse to do things that they don’t want to or play the ‘I’m your elder card’ try and take control.

Preventing ‘burnout’
Caring for an elderly patient can be very trying and monotonous so it is very important to be able to take a break. In many cases this is simply not possible and the lack of holidays and contact with the outside world can make the process unbearable. To avoid this situation it is important to have multiple caregivers who are able to relieve you of care duty so that you can still get out and enjoy your life. Seeking professional
nursing care or enlisting other family members to help with the care will enable you to take these necessary breaks and make the process all the more bearable.

How you care effects functionality
The way in which you care for elderly patients will affect their overall functionality. If for example you live in a two story house, then you may need to install a stair lift to enable them to access the entire house. Most showers will need to be adapted to have non-slip floors and safety rails to prevent falls in the shower. Whilst these expenses may seem preventative, it will allow you to commit less to the care process as the elderly person can achieve things by themselves.

Care needs to be household wide
Whilst not everyone in the house will necessarily be providing care to the elderly person, it is important that they all know what to do in certain situations. Just as one would prepare for fire safety, it is equally important to prepare for an emergency of many kinds. Alzheimer’s and Dementia can prevent elderly people from recognising their own family and cause them to panic. In these cases it is important that everyone knows what to do, regardless of their status as a caregiver.
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