Published On: Thu, Apr 12th, 2018

Coping with an Elderly Relative

Caring for an elderly loved one, such as a parent or grandparent, could be one of the most emotionally difficult things you will ever need to do. Not only will you not want to see your loved one in poor health, but it can also take a toll on your mind and body. If you are struggling emotionally and physically, here is how you can cope with an elderly relative.

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Take It One Day at a Time

It’s easy for your mind to turn to the worst-case scenario when caring for an elderly relative. Yet you cannot stop the inevitable, which is why you should take it one day at a time when caring for an aging parent or grandparent. This is uncharted territory for both of you, so rather than thinking the worst, simply focus on how you can make their lives much easier.

Understand Your Options

Caring for a loved one is not only difficult for the caregiver, but it can also be a troubling time for your aging relative, as they might feel as if they are a burden. It might be beneficial to know that your loved one can choose their own caregiver with the CDPAP initiative, which will pay a caregiver to care for a family member or friend. So, you can receive a regular income, and your relative will feel less of a burden on their loved one. Visit freedomcareny.com to learn more.

Expect Anger

It can often be hard for an aging relative to let go of their independence and allow someone else to care for their needs. What’s more, it can be difficult for a parent to accept they no longer have authority over their caregiving children. It is common for aging family members or friends to express anger or frustration. Expect that lashing out is a natural part of the process and give them time to accept the new situation.

Allow a Relative to Make Their Own Choices

While an elderly relative might be forced to relinquish some of their independence, you should allow your loved one to make their own choices, rather than giving them orders. It’s important they feel as if they are in control of their own lives, so give them as much free rein as possible without compromising on their health and wellbeing.

Ask How You Can Help

Many caregivers often think they know what is best for their elderly relative. Yet you must consider their wants as well as their needs. While you might know your aging loved one needs to attend a medical appointment or when they need to take their medication, you will also need to consider whether they need a day out of the home or to reminisce on times gone by. So, don’t guess their wants and needs, and instead ask how you can help, as they might want nothing more than a cup of tea and a conversation with you.

Care for Yourself

It’s easy to become so wrapped up in the needs of an elderly relative that you can forget your own, yet you will be no good to your aging parent, grandparent, or aunt if you are not fit and healthy. You must take care of yourself, as well as them. So, make sure you eat right, exercise, and take a break when you need it. Your relative will want you to be happy, so you owe it to them as much as yourself.

Author: Carol Trehearn

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