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Caring for elderly parents

Caring for elderly parents

Caring for elderly parents

Caring for elderly parents is almost inevitable. It is part of the cycle of life. The elderly need help at the end of their lives. Just as they cared for their children when they were born. Moreover, babies, toddlers and primary school children need different types of care. Eventually, teenagers and young adults require different types of support.

There always comes a time when elderly parents and grandparents need assistance. Naturally, their first port of call is their children. Furthermore, during recent visits you may have noticed some signs of need. They may lead you to believe your loved ones need your help. The question is should they remain in their own home? Should they come and live with you? Or is it time for them to move into an aged care facility?

Here, at Camberwell Gardens, we have been caring for the elderly for a long time. We welcome them when that time comes. Further, our experience enables us to provide you with some helpful hints along the way.

The initial conversation

This can be the most difficult first step. That is because one of three choices needs to be made. Firstly, they could remain at home with help and support.  Secondly, moving in with one or other of the children. Thirdly, moving into an aged care facility. They are similar but not the same. Moreover all three will require different options for help and assistance.

The signs

These are some of the most common signs to pick up on. Is chronic pain affecting their joints and making small tasks difficult? Tasks such as opening cans or jars. Further, complaining about difficulty cleaning the home. Or no longer preparing proper meals. Perhaps a neglected appearance, a change in their usual grooming.

Also, the home looking not quite clean enough or unusually untidy. The garden they once took great pride in appearing neglected. Furthermore, cupboards that are almost empty of stocks. Check for a Refrigerator that does not contain much food. These are all indications of difficulty coping with every day tasks.

Additionally, abandoning things they used to enjoy. Such as eating out, entertainment and outings. Perhaps even refusing invitations from family and friends. Everyone slows down as they get older. However that is different from giving up on living. This is especially important if mum or dad live alone.

Once the decision is made

If the decision they make is to remain in their own home, they will need assistance. Both the government and the family can give them the necessary help. You will find a link down below for government information and assistance. This will include things such as Service providers and costs.

If however, the decision is made to move them in with you, you will become a carer. Depending upon their age and needs, government programs will give you information and strategies. There is a lot of help available across-the-board. Help with cleaning, transport, nursing and financial assistance.

Practical day-to-day tips for carers

Pain management

Chronic pain is not only debilitating it is depressing. Also, conditions such as arthritis affect movement and motor function. Sedentariness and too much rest is counter-productive. The answer is exercise and movement. Make sure you help your elderly loved one with difficult jobs. However also ensure they keep active and healthy.

Balance and walking aids

Firstly, maintaining good balance is essential to preventing falls. Therefore gentle exercise and even dancing will improve muscle strength. Further, make the house safe with grab rails and eliminate any trip hazards. Your elderly loved one may benefit from the use of a walking stick. If necessary, ramps or even a chairlift may need to be installed.

Vision and hearing

Make sure your elderly loved one gets their vision and hearing checked regularly. Look out for signs that these two of the five senses are failing.

Memory loss

There are signs of memory loss in simple, every day things. Such as disorientation, losing things and lack of attention to grooming. Furthermore, forgetting to eat or drink or take medication should be taken seriously. Additionally, not remembering who family members and friends are is cause for concern. A visit to the GP is a good idea in these cases.

Mood changes

Some elderly people begin to suffer from anxiety and even depression. There are many reasons behind these conditions. Firstly, as people age they lose a lot of loved ones. Family members and friends die. This may result in them feeling a deep sadness. Not everyone likes to talk about their feelings. Talk to them and ask them if they are feeling sad. Try to cheer them up and reassure them that they’re not alone. Tell them that you love them and you will be there for them.

Younger people and grandchildren can help a lot. The voids of the past need to be filled and replaced with new life. Babies, young children and animals are very helpful in bringing back joy. New memories must be made to replace the old ones. Look out for symptoms such as listlessness, a drop in appetite. Also, insomnia, lack of stamina and even irritability sometimes.

In Conclusion

Caring for an elderly loved one is a team effort. Involve as many family members as possible, in order for the main carer not to become exhausted. Make sure that everybody has their needs met on a daily basis by being organised. Also, delegate specific tasks to lighten the load.

But above all, make sure the elderly loved one does not feel like a burden. Conversation, laughter and music are all mood lighteners. Furthermore, getting out and about and enjoying the sunshine and a break from routine will help enormously.

And remember, here at Gold Age Australia, Camberwell Gardens we are only a telephone call away. If we can help you in any way please do not hesitate to call us. Our friendly staff will be only too happy to offer advice and support.

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This blog is intended to provide helpful advice. Please speak with your family GP for personalised information or, for specialist advice & support in Melbourne Australia, contact GOLD AGE AUSTRALIA on / 1800 GOLDAGE (1800 465 324) / Overseas Callers call +61 (03) 9836 9507

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