If you live with an elderly relative, you may have taken on the role of primary caregiver. It can often feel like an overwhelming task – and one that you struggle to manage alongside your work commitments. However, there is plenty of support on offer, and this article is here to give you some valuable caregiving tips to help make the process easier. By following these top tips below, you can gain peace of mind that your elderly relative is getting the care they need.
Create A Routine
If you are juggling care commitments alongside your busy lifestyle, the best thing you can do is create a routine. Once you both work together to establish meal and medication times, you will find the days a lot easier. To set a routine, you need to sit down with your elderly relative and have an open and honest discussion. Approach the conversation sensitively and give them control. If they feel like you are taking over, they might become irritable. Instead, voice any concerns that you may have and offer some suggestions of your own. Take a look at some tips online regarding how to create a routine. You may need to try out a few things before you find a routine that works well for the both of you.
Talk To A Medical Professional
If you feel like you are becoming overwhelmed in your role as a caregiver, you should acknowledge the right time to ask for help. You should never feel like you have to suffer in silence. After all, your health is just as important, and you don’t want to make yourself ill from stress. Talk to a medical professional if you need support. You can acquire the help of a live-in-carer. They will move into your elderly relative’s home and offer their care around the clock. It can take away a lot of stress from you. If you do not like the sound of this, there are plenty of other resources you can benefit from. A chat with your doctor will help you better understand your options.
Use Meal Services
If you are at work during the day, you may worry that your elderly relative is not eating enough. As you are not there to prepare meals, you may get distracted from your work and feel stressed. This is where ready-meal services can help. Plenty of meal services will deliver hot food to your elderly relative throughout the day. It gives you peace of mind that they are eating a well-balanced diet. It also means someone is there to check on them throughout the day. You can find your nearest local meal service online. You can also ask your local GP if they have any recommendations.
Ensure You Have The Right Safety Equipment
There may come a time when your elderly relative struggles with mobility. As a caregiver, this can be a challenge. Moving your relative from one room to another can strain you. To avoid injury, you must ensure that you have the right safety equipment at home. For example, portable hoists are mechanical devices that can transfer someone into a seat – or the bathtub. Not only do these devices minimise the risk of the caregiver suffering from an injury, but they also ensure that the person being moved is comfortable. If you would like to know more about portable hoists’ take a look at this guide by the NHC Group. They discuss the different types of hoists available, helping you determine which one is most suitable for your elderly relative.
Share Responsibilities With Other Family Members
If you struggle to balance your caregiving duties with your family and work life, lean on your family members for support. If you have strict work commitments, you can arrange for another family member to share some responsibilities. For example, one of you can offer to do the food shops for one week, and the other person can handle it the week after. Sharing responsibilities takes some of the pressure off you. The best part is you can rely on your other family member for support, and you don’t have to feel alone. Caregiving can be a difficult job. If you have someone on hand willing to help, don’t be afraid to take them up on that offer.
Don’t Forget To Look After Your Own Health
Although you want to support your elderly relative, it is also vital that you take time to look after yourself. Caring for an elderly relative can feel like a full-time job. If you are balancing this alongside your job, you can soon feel exhausted. This may lead to sleep deprivation and stress. The critical thing to remember is that you should not feel guilty about looking after your own health. Take a break when you need it and ensure you are getting enough sleep. After all, your elderly relative needs your assistance, and if you make yourself ill, you will not be able to support them. Take a look at some self-care ideas online and start putting them into practice.
Seek Financial Support
Unfortunately, caring for an elderly relative can often lead to money worries. Rather than pushing your financial stress to one side, there are some places where you can seek financial support. Get in contact with your local council, who will be able to conduct a carers assessment. You may be eligible for a carers personal budget. This will give you some financial support and takes some of the pressure off you. There may also be some benefits that you can claim. However, you will have to meet specific criteria to qualify. If you are struggling financially due to your caregiving role, don’t suffer in silence. Be open with your family, who may be able to offer some support.
Ensure They Get Enough Sleep And Exercise
You may find that your elderly relative is becoming less mobile than they used to be. Although it can be a struggle, you must encourage them to get up and exercise. Of course, this doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous. A simple walk can be a step in the right direction. Exercise can help reduce your loved one’s risk of serious issues like heart disease and stroke. You can find plenty of home exercises for elderly relatives online. You should also ensure they are getting enough rest. Try and establish a healthy night-time routine to help them feel at ease. Maybe you could run them a hot bath, or give them their favourite book to read.
Pay Close Attention To Their Medication Needs
Your elderly relative will likely require some medication to help keep them in good health. You must pay close attention to their medication needs. Ensure that they are getting their medication at the right time. Failure to do this could result in them getting very ill. To ensure they are getting what they need, you will need to set up regular times with your relative to administer the medication. If you need to, set yourself reminders on your phone. They will alert you when necessary. This is important for those who have a busy lifestyle and are likely to forget. Pill boxes are also a helpful tool as you can set out medication by the days of the week. This is good for when you are not there, as your relative will know which pills they need to take and when.