If you’ve been caring for older relatives, but have noticed a distinct change in how hard the task has become as of late, then it may be time to make some changes and new arrangements for them. It may be time to change their life just a little, or completely, in a bid to give them a better quality of life.
First and foremost, it is not selfish to seek help or hand over the reigns when it comes to caring for an older relative if you are struggling. It doesn’t mean that you are doing so just because it is too tough for you, it means that you are doing so because it is hindering them. If you aren’t professionally trained, or you simply cannot devote as much time as is needed, maybe because of issues regarding your own children, then it can be hard for your older relative to get the care they need from you. If this is the case, then you should most certainly seek some sort of companion care. Whether it be companions that assist with homemaking, driving, cleaning assistance or even overnight assistance, there are always services out there that are willing and waiting to help. If you do seek this kind of help, you can rest assured that you are 100% doing the right thing and that you are NOT acting selfishly. And another option similar to this is to move your older relative into a continuing care retirement community. This options allows for your older relative to receive around the clock support and care from those that are professionally trained to provide it whilst still retaining a sense of homeliness in comparison to the atmosphere of, say, a hospital. These communities offer anybody freedom to move about in a large yet secure area as well as the chance to enjoy a thriving social life with other people of a similar age. Generally, the accommodation on offer is made up of one floor so that you never have to worry about your older relative having difficulties with stairs ever again.
But, if you would prefer to see your older relative remain in the family home that they cherish, and you are happy and able to provide them with support, then there are adjustments and adaptations that can be made there that will also improve their quality of everyday life, every day. For instance, in reference to the problems that stairs pose to those of an older generation, you could have a stairlift fitted in the home by professionals so that you never have to worry about stair-related injuries ever again. Similarly, you could make access to the home easier for you older relative through the installation of hand rails for them to hold on to when walking or even grab onto when falling; you could have the kitchen area made safer by having put-out shelves and cupboards fitted; and you could improve their bathroom by having a shower-seat built in which will mean that they will still be able to retain the independence of bathing and washing themselves whilst you can rest assured that the possibility of dancer and injury has been diminished.
And this is the most important factor in relation to this: it is important to improve your older relatives standard of living by helping them to retain independence in a safe way, but it is also important that you are always worry-free yourself. It can be difficult, especially when the relative is so close to you, but you have to try and remember your own standard of life, and worrying is only going to hamper it.