Becoming a caregiver for an elderly relative or loved one brings with it a lot of challenges. It isn’t easy to juggle all of the other responsibilities that you have in life like a family of your own, a job, and others. Adding the care of a senior citizen with mobility problems and other issues is very stressful. It is a duty that must be done regardless of the challenges, however.
Luckily, there are many ways that you can get a little bit of extra help by embracing many ideas and even products. There are a lot of things available that will help senior citizens live more independently as well as give their caregivers some help to make things a bit more manageable. In this article, we will go over several of the ways that you can help take care of your elderly relative.
1 – Get an adjustable bed
Having an adjustable bed is going to provide an enormous benefit both for you and for your loved one. These beds have a lot of benefits and can be used by a large number of people. They aren’t just for hospital use but do serve a medical function as well as being designed for comfort.
The best adjustable bed frames will make it far easier for your loved one to get out of bed on their own or even if they need help from you. Since the head of the bed can be raised, they are able to come to a seated position. Then they simply need to slide their legs off of the bed and be able to stand with far less effort. If you need to help them to their feet then you won’t need to lift them when they have an adjustable bed.
They also help alleviate swelling of the feet by keeping them elevated at night. This will allow them to have fewer mobility issues since walking is easier with reduced swelling. The same goes for back pain which is debilitating since the bed can be customized to alleviate back pain.
2 – Make modifications
There will likely need to be some modifications to the house to be able to help you to help them. How these modifications need to happen will be determined by the state of your loved one. For instance, if your loved one is in a wheelchair then the carpets will need to be removed since the wheels won’t be able to roll over them. This makes pushing them harder and almost impossible for them to get around on their own.
The furniture will likely also need to undergo some upgrades. A recliner that lifts up will allow them to get out of the chair unassisted since it lifts them up to an almost standing position.
A stairlift is essential if there are multiple floors. You would not be able to lift them without the risk of injuring yourself or them. This will give them access on their own or with your help so they can use the full house. These lifts will often be the biggest reason that a person is able to continue living in their own home and not need to go to a facility.
3 – Update the bathroom
Helping your loved one maintain their hygiene is going to prove to be a big challenge. Washing up can be very risky when they try it on their own since there is water everywhere and they are less steady on their feet. Get a tub that will allow them to walk right in without the need to step over the sides. There should also be a seat located there so they can sit and wash.
A shower head with a hose will allow you to give them a proper wash and do it quickly and effectively.
A toilet with a riser will also help them to go to the bathroom and get up without as much strength needed. If they are able to go themselves without your help then getting a bidet or smart toilet is a good idea so they can use water to wash off without needing to use toilet paper to reach around. They can even feature lights so they can see what they are doing and warm air dryers to be able to be totally hands-free.
4 – Create a system
Getting organized is essential to be able to take care of all of your responsibilities in addition to the care that your loved one needs. This means that you’ll need to create a system, especially if you need to coordinate with others to be able to manage.
The first thing to do is make a schedule that revolves around the timing of their meals, doctor visits, and when they need to take medication. There are many apps that will help you do this easily as well as provide alerts and reminders so you don’t have to keep everything in mind.
Then try to make a list of all the ways that you need to help them like doing their shopping, cleaning the house, and helping them with their hygiene. You can try to delegate some of the tasks when you know exactly what needs to be done. There should even be ways to delegate the things you need to be done in your personal life so that you have the time required to be able to provide the necessary care.
There are many things that can be automated that will help you take better care of your loved one. For instance, you can have all of their bills automatically withdrawn from their accounts as well as direct deposits of their income.
The key thing to remember when you are the primary caregiver of an elderly person is to also make sure that you also provide care for yourself. Don’t forget to take some time to yourself so you don’t end up burning out.