*Collaborative Content* As we get older, it’s only natural that we may need a little more care and support than in our earlier years. However, whether you are caring for a grandparent, parent or even a neighbour - looking after an older adult can be a very difficult task- as a result, you may find that you have little time to take care of yourself or keep up to date with your daily duties.
With that in mind, here are some top tips for taking care of a loved one as they get older.
Whether your loved one needs to take daily medication or attends regular visits with the doctor - you must stay up to date with their schedule so you are aware of the times when they may require a little more support than usual. This is especially important if you are the person responsible for taking them to and from appointments. However, it can be hard to balance somebody else’s schedule alongside your own, which could result in missed appointments. As such, you may benefit from setting reminders on your phone! This way, you can give your loved one a quick call or text to remind them about upcoming events.
Ask them what they need from you.
When taking care of others, it can be hard to know if we are doing a good job or if we are doing enough. While your loved one will appreciate any form of support, the easiest way you can put these worries to bed is by simply asking them what they need from you. Then, you can tailor your care and support accordingly. For example, if they are feeling lonely, you can arrange to visit more often.
Discuss additional support methods.
At some point in time, your loved one may require full-time support that you cannot provide. When this occurs, you should not feel guilty - as this is a natural part of ageing, and you may not have the resources at hand to give them the quality care they need. However, this does mean that you should do plenty of research ahead of time so that they receive the right kind of care. For example, while live-in carers are always an option, your loved one may be more suited to staying within a care home facility, as this often gives them more opportunities to socialise.
Take care of yourself too.
While you may be more than happy to dedicate most of your time to caring for your loved one, it’s important that you don't forget to take care of yourself either. After all, if you continue to neglect your own needs, you’ll struggle to provide them with adequate care and support in the first place. As such, you should ensure that you set aside some time in your schedule that you can dedicate to yourself. For example, you may want to put together a daily self-care routine. After all, self-care can help you to feel happy, healthy and focused. Furthermore, you should also ensure that the caring responsibilities are shared out among other family members where possible - so that you feel a little less guilty about taking the necessary time for yourself.