It can be so important to us all to help our elderly or infirm loved-ones to cope. Unfortunately, having them move in with us is not always a realistic undertaking due to professional and personal commitments on both sides. So what are the best ways to help a loved-one cope when they are struggling due to old age or infirmity?
It can be quite easy to help someone on a day-to-day level when they live close-by. Cooking some extra food every day and taking it around the next to help them by providing easily reheated meals is simple enough, and taking them to a doctor’s appointment can help relieve stress. If your loved-one gets bored easily, make sure you recycle magazines, books and DVDs by dropping them off when you’re done with them or ready to lend them out for a bit. Another good way to help things stay active socially is by taking your loved-one out to appropriate activities so that they can build a social circle. But when a loved-one lives quite far away it can be a lot more difficult.
If you can afford to pay for them to have a comprehensive mobile phone plan or internet access, contact will be a lot easier right from the off. This can really help as plenty of communication will help your loved-one feel cared-for. It will also help them to tell you when there is a need that isn’t being met or if they have an urgent situation that needs your attention. Keep up with them on a daily basis and ensure that they have no issues you should or could be helping with.
Frequent visits can be difficult to make, but by having a regularly scheduled day and time when you go see to their needs will help you and them feel organised. You will be able to maximise your time with them and they will know when to expect you. Furthermore, this allows you to work out a route in terms of public transportation, if you need to – making your journey easier and smoother through familiarity. Try and schedule a day during the week when you visit so that you can help with issues that require office hours as well as with problems that could be resolved over the weekend.
Put aside everything you need to take along during the week and keep it in one handy place so that you can simply grab and go when it’s time to head out. Again, books and magazines will help, but try buying something exciting. For someone who enjoys puzzles, a new crossword book can help to while away the time, and someone who likes to knit might enjoy a magazine on the subject to keep them busy.
We all have to face the infirmity of those we love eventually, but if you organise yourself correctly you can ensure you’re there for them and help them to make the most of their twilight years.