When to Step in and Assist Your Elderly Relative

caring for the elderly

Being independent is one of the best feelings in life. A child feels proud of themselves when they are finally allowed to walk themselves to school or to the bus stop. Young adults are accomplished when they get a job, an apartment, and a car on their own. The elderly also enjoy being independent and doing as many things on their own as they can. Some might be stubborn or slightly prideful, but they will ultimately accept or ask for help when necessary. Elderly people aren’t always aware of when their eyesight is going, or the fact that their memory is failing. Even if the response you get for offering your assistance may be negative initially, you have to know when it is time to step in and take the reigns from your elderly loved one.

When It Becomes Difficult for Your Elderly Relative to Execute Everyday Tasks

Everyone takes different amounts of time to complete the same tasks. This isn’t something that always changes with age, but it can. Time is not as much of an issue as difficulty though. If you have a relative who takes ten minutes to put on their shoes don’t assume that it is because the task is difficult for them. Instead, just observe and ask questions as gently as you can. There are going to be situations in which your loved one becomes defensive, and then you won’t be able to get the whole truth. Be of assistance when you see your relative getting frustrated doing something like locking the door, go up the stairs, or chop up vegetables.

When You Aren’t Getting the Whole Story About Your Relative’s Medical Issues

As people age, they also require more hands-on medical care. Getting older might mean your parent needs to get on high blood pressure medication, undergo an operation to remove cataracts, or completely revamp their diet. While it isn’t polite to intrude, medical care is critically important for the elderly. There are steps that can be taken to get important medical information from your loved one’s doctors if need be. First, you can ask to attend a doctor’s visit with your loved one so you can hear their diagnosis properly. Second, there is always a medical power of attorney if you are exceedingly concerned. If you can prove that your loved one is not taking care of themselves properly then getting a medical power of attorney will not seem like you are overreaching.

When Driving Seems Like a Danger to Your Relative and Others

Many people make jokes about it but when an elderly person drives in an unsafe manner because of diminished faculties, it is no laughing matter. Older people need to go to the grocery store, the doctor’s office, and even work just like everyone else. In many instances, there is either no alternative transportation or they don’t want to have to ‘bother’ their family for assistance. Seeing a relative struggle to see what’s ahead of them is painful, but it is also a situation that can be rectified. Gently urge your family member to take a cab, offer to drive them around, or take another form of transportation. If it gets bad enough, all of your family should come together and urge the elderly relative to give up their license as well as their vehicle.

When You Worry About Leaving Your Loved One Alone for Too Long

Do you go to visit an elderly relative, perhaps see them struggling to get around, and then worry profusely after you leave? You might be concerned when you think about your loved ones cooking for themselves, getting in and out of the tub unassisted, or remembering to take their medication. Any person wanting tips on how to handle these types of topics should read more here. Sometimes, it is all about how you frame your concerns. You might expect some pushback, but you could end up having a very productive conversation with your loved one after expressing these types of concerns. Cooking unassisted can be very dangerous to elderly people with limited mobility. Moreover, the risk of a kitchen fire can be deadly, so it is imperative that you speak up when you have lingering concerns.

When an Accident Has Already Occurred

An accident occurs when a fluke, mistake, or minor error has occurred. You could very easily accidentally cut your hand while crafting. Some people even go so far as to consider themselves accident prone.  When an older relative is concerned, you have to think about whether an accident that has already happened is a one-time thing or an indicator of problems just beginning to emerge. Your relative might have gotten into an auto accident because of a temporary distraction, but that same accident might have occurred because driving legitimately scares your relative. Don’t expect to know the answer right away all of the time. On the other hand, if a serious or debilitating accident has transpired then you have every right to step in and do what is necessary.

When Other Members of Your Family Share the Same Concerns  

If you don’t vocally express concerns about your elderly relative to the rest of your family, little headway can be made. Your entire family might share the exact same sentiments, but if you never talk about it you will never know. Now, discussing what your elderly loved one has been up to might not be the topic of every discussion, but families have to come together when one of them is in need.

Getting older is natural. Some people embrace it better than others, but nevertheless, your relative is still the same person at their core. So, if your loved one has always been somewhat stubborn and resistant to change, you will have a harder time getting them to accept your help. It won’t always be the easiest journey, but ultimately, you have to take measures to keep your elderly relatives safe. So, keep asking questions, stop by for visits, and keep up with their routines. One day you will get older yourself and you would want someone else to do the same for you.

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