February 5, 2021
Reading Time 5 min.

Caring for the Aging at Home – What You Need to Know

It sure is challenging caring for the aging at home. Even more so when a loved one resists help, find out what you need to know about understanding their resistance and ways to encourage them to cooperate.   

Aging is part of life, and not something you can wish away. It affects families from all walks of life. Adult children may not fully understand to what extend their once energetic parents are aging and the effects it will have on them later on.   

Their loved ones may still be in good health and live independently, resulting in no immediate concerns regarding dramatic changes any time soon.   

Having said this, the time will arrive when the effects of aging will be more evident and mean you have to think about long term care for them.  

Knowing When to Step in Caring for the Aging  

Man sitting on couch discussing caring for the aging.

It can be emotionally challenging once you realize someone close to you struggles but stubbornly refuses any help. Your loved one may be dealing with cognitive changes, physical decline, or the loss of a spouse. Coping with the loss of independence is not ever easy. 

Accepting help from other family members or a paid caregiver will mean they may have to give up some of their privacy and independence and adjust to different routines. Therefore, they may feel vulnerable and frightened. Understandably, they may put up a fight. At times there can also be declining cognition, and they may not realize they need the help.   

Show you care by spending as much time as possible with your loved one to obtain an accurate picture of what they need help with before you focus on finding assistance within the home.    

Loved ones often do not ask for help, so you need to observe and ask all the right questions without coming across too strong. It is a case of recognizing the signs that they are indeed in need of extra help.   

What are some of the things to look out for that show that caring for the aging is becoming necessary?  

The following signs show that caring for the elderly at home should be a priority:  

  • Weight changes: Unexplained weight changes may be a real health concern and a sure indication that an older person is either lacking nutritious food or finding cooking is too much of an effort.  
  • Mobility: As we get older, climbing stairs, making your bed, or getting into your bath or shower, can become a chore and may be downright risky. If you notice bruises, these may be sure signs your parent is losing their balance and falling or stumbling into walls, corners or furniture.   
  • Memory: Signs that your aged parent is having difficulty with their memory may include; unpaid bills, missed appointments, repeat purchases, or burnt cookware.  
  • Hygiene: Body odor, dirty clothing, and dental issues are all signs that home care for the elderly in their own homes is something you seriously need to consider.  
  • Social circle: Is your loved one maintaining healthy relationships with the family and friends, or do they regularly decline any opportunities to engage socially? Loneliness and isolation are signs of cognitive decline and will further harm their physical and mental well-being.  
  • Home: When you pay a visit to your elderly parent, do you find their homes unusually disorderly or dirty? These are often signs they are struggling to keep up with the pace of life.   

Let's face it; our aging loved ones' well-being is first and foremost in our minds. We wish for nothing more than that they are able to live out their remaining years to the fullest with minimal difficulty.   

Caring for the aging means we consider a family member's physical, emotional, and mental well-being.  

Do not wait until you realize they find it difficult or impossible to care for themselves, to look for help. Start out small with providing assistance. Whether you are caring for them yourself or finding someone who is qualified to do so.

Two to three hours of help one day a week may feel like a luxury instead of an imposition. Facilitate help with laundry, house cleaning or grocery shopping whichever feels like the biggest chore to your loved one.

Give them this time to do something they enjoy. Reading, hobbies or spending time with grandchildren can be a reward to letting go of a chore that is increasingly difficult.

Other ways would be to invest in accessories and equipment to help them carry out specific tasks independently and with greater ease.   

Elderly Care Tips in Caring for the Aging

 

Elderly man who needs some assistance at home with Activities of daily living.

There are all sorts of ways family members can ease the burden of daily living activities. Not all of these are necessarily fundamental, but will surely help a great deal.   

Below are some helpful tips for taking care of the elderly:  

  • Preparing meals and cooking  
  • Buying needed items and shopping for groceries.  
  • Laundry
  • Taking care of bills and managing money  
  • Communicating or speaking on the phone  
  • Running various errands  
  • Housekeeping or cleaning

It is important to determine what would help a loved one overcome various obstacles and difficulties.   

We spoke about an aging parent showing resistance. How would one manage to overcome an aging parent's resistance to care? 

How to Encourage a Loved One to Accept Help

There are several ways to encourage a loved one to accept help from a caregiver. Here are some suggestions:  

  • Describe the need for caring for the aging in a positive way. Talk about assistance in the home as something they would enjoy and a home caregiver as their friend. Be positive and smile during the discussion.
  • Recommend a senior care trial run and do not ask your loved one finalize their decision right away. This way, they get to test the waters first.   
  • Explain to your loved one that it would make your life easier if they accept the help. It will also reduce your worry.
  • Do not pick a fight with your loved one, but try and understand their point of view and focus on the bigger picture.   
  • When you speak about cost, ease their mind by mentioning that some aging care costs are covered by insurance.

Whatever you and your family decide to do when it comes to caring for the aging, remember always to involve your loved one when decisions are to be made about his or her care.

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That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. ADULT DAY CARE CENTER: HOW IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE
  2. DUTIES OF A CAREGIVER IN HOME
  3. WHAT IS RESPITE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY
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