The main goals for family caregivers who want to provide excellent elderly care for a loved one include being there for the ups and downs of life. Elderly people face significant life transitions that can impact them physically and mentally.
Often, elders don’t have the resources or support to cope with these changes on their own. That’s why family caregivers are so important to an elderly adult’s health and well-being. The care and concern that family caregivers provide can help an aging person through some of the toughest of times.
So what are some significant life events that elderly adults face? Among the most common life transitions are developing an illness or disease, losing a spouse, living on a fixed income, moving from one home to another, adapting to a device like a wheelchair or hearing aids, accepting elder care services, finding meaning after a career or living with a chronic health issue. It’s easy for elders to become isolated and jeopardize their own health. Family caregivers can step in and make sure that the impact of life transitions are minimized.
The biggest challenge that family caregivers often face when they focus on elder care during life transitions is that their relative often doesn’t want any help. Of course, there is no way to predict how an elderly adult will react to stress or respond to someone offering help. Many elderly people are very proud to be independent and don’t want that to change. They can also be stubborn, prideful or even embarrassed to ask for help. They may be struggling with the fear of the unknown and therefore hesitant to make decisions in their life. Finally, they may be faced with challenges about who they can trust with their own health and care.
Family caregivers can help lessen the negative impact of a life transition for elderly relatives by being mindful of the enormous consequences that these changes bring. The first step is really listening to them and identifying any immediate problems they may be having. It’s important to be sensitive to their emotions and feelings, even if they are not reasonable. Using comforting words and pledging support and assistance will help ease an aging person’s mind.
Another thing family caregivers can do for their aging relatives during and after a life transition is to ensure they take care of themselves. It’s important for elders to socialize regularly, stay mentally and physically active, use good hygiene, visit the doctor regularly, eat a nutritious diet and properly manage their illnesses. If they can’t do these things themselves then family members and elder care assistants may be needed to supply that support.
Seniors cannot combat the negative effects of serious life transitions alone. Family members must be prepared to lend a hand and lend their ear when it comes to reducing the impact on their loved one’s life. Elderly adults will definitely benefit when they know that their family caregiver is supporting them and providing concern and dedication. Only then can they truly overcome the challenges that come with growing older.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Cambridge MA, or anywhere in Eastern Massachusetts, please call the caring staff at CARE Resolutions – (508) 906-5572.