It takes a lot of trust to rely on someone to care for your elderly relatives be it relatives, care homes or live in care. Your parents, grandparents, and any of the other older members of your family will all have their own needs, ranging from needing complete support, to only needing a little bit of help to take their pills each morning. With so much at play, though, it can often be hard to tell whether or not the support they are getting is enough. A small change can have a significant impact on the life of an elderly person.
The Signs of a Struggle
As the people closest to you get older, the relationship you have with them will undoubtedly change, and this can make it challenging to tell when new behaviours are something to worry about or the result of getting older. However, there are some visible signs to look out for. Of course, you may need to work hard to make sure that your loved ones aren’t in dire straights, and this could mean asking sensitive questions to get the answers you need.
Rapid Physical Changes: Losing or gaining weight, worsening conditions, and any other rapid physical changes should all be a cause for concern. While these processes can occur naturally and be out of the control of your relative, it can also show that they aren’t looking after themselves properly. When someone is on medication, it is important that any unexpected physical changes are discussed with to a doctor.
Confused Care: A lot of people are unable to look after their loved ones by themselves, and will rely on a residential or live in care agency to fill in the gaps. When you are using a service like this, it is crucial that you are in constant contact with them, even going as far as talking to them each day when your relative is in a sorry state. If it’s hard to get reliable answers or carers seem confused, it will be worth checking in to make sure that your loved one is being looked after.
Poor Hygiene/Tidiness: Even when they get older, most people don’t like the idea of being dirty. When someone is struggling to look after themselves, though, having baths or showers can be an insurmountable challenge. When someone isn’t cleaning themselves well enough, they will often get uncomfortable sores and infections, further adding to the health complications which they already have.
Mood Swings: It can be hard for someone to admit that they aren’t able to remain independent, and often leaves elderly folks feeling very frustrated. This can show itself as anger at the smallest things, making uncharacteristic mood swings a tell-tale sign that someone is struggling. Getting old doesn’t change the way that a loved one feels about you or how they will act in normal situations, but stress certainly can.
Approaching the subject of independence has to be done with great care. It can be easy to make your relative feel as though you’re patronising them, and this can easily force them to make up their mind about getting help. Instead, it’s worth talking with them honestly, explaining that you worry about them, but also respect that they probably don’t want you to be their carer. At this stage, you shouldn’t have decided anything for them, instead offering options which you think best suit their needs.
In many situations, a live in care agency will be the best option to ensure that your loved one can live a healthy life. Companies offering this sort of service will have dedicated many years to researching and perfecting their methods. Not only will this ensure that each aspect of the person’s life is covered, but it will also give them the chance to enjoy a balanced social life. The benefits of this form of care often greatly outweigh the other options you have available, with even the cost being lower than traditional care homes.
As time goes on, more and more people are reaching a ripe old age. While this is a good thing, it is also putting pressure on the systems which are designed to look after people in this position. This puts increasing pressure on family members to fill the gaps, but an excellent live in care solution can take away this stress.
For more information contact Orchid Care or give us a call