Getting older is no easy road to walk, and it’s only natural that we would want to be there for our ageing loved ones to support them and help them in whatever ways we can. However, it’s not always easy to know how you can help and what you can do for them.
We’ve rounded up a few tips and suggestions for things that you can do for relatives or even friends who are getting older and need a little extra helping hand in their day to day living.
Especially for elderly people living on their own, it’s crucial to know that they’re safe in their homes and will be able to get assistance in the case of a fall or other emergencies. For safety purposes, alarm systems are pretty crucial.
Installing security systems as well as a medical alert device will allow both you and your elderly relative to rest at ease knowing that someone will be able to help them in the case of any emergencies related to their health or safety.
As the ageing process progresses, it’s likely that health issues can become more of a concern. It’s then obviously important to be on the ball when it comes to physical health.
Help out your relatives with their physical health by assisting them with scheduling their annual health checks, driving them to any appointments and also helping them remember to take any medication they might be on. You could set up reminders on their phones, or even give them a daily reminder call, which is much more personal.
Depending on what specific needs your loved ones might have, helping them to modify their living space could be a great help. For example, helping them to install railings in their bathroom (next to toilets and bathtubs or showers), buying them a bed rail, modifying toilets or any other modifications specific to their needs.
If you notice that they need daily assistance, you could look into some alternative housing options for them, hire a caretaker or even take on the role yourself if you have the time and resources.
Getting out of the house, driving and running errands, in general, can get harder when you’re older. If your elderly relatives are unable to drive or struggle to get their shopping done, you could help them out in various ways.
One option is to do their shopping for them while you’re doing your own. Ask them for a shopping list and grab whatever items they need to drop off for them at their home. Another option you could try is to help them set up a grocery delivery service. Many supermarkets offer deliveries via an app, so figure out what might be easiest for them.
Even once they have ingredients in their home, many elderly people might struggle with cooking themselves nutritious meals. Once again, there are a few different options here.
If you have the time, you might want to help them out by batch-cooking or meal prepping a load of meals for them to keep in the fridge or freezer. This way, they can easily defrost a nutritious meal whenever they need to.
Another idea is to have them buy ready-made frozen meals instead of ingredients for cooking. These days, there are a lot of options that offer nutritionally balanced and delicious ready-made meals, so shop around to see what they might like.
Loneliness is one of the worst symptoms of getting older. It’s important that you don’t let your loved ones isolate themselves too much and lose touch with those close to them. Try to help them out with this by organising family meals and helping them to get around to see friends and their other relatives.
You could also help them get up to speed with technology so that they can take advantage of the power of video calls. Getting out for face-to-face visits might be too tiring for them, so the option to use video calls on days like these could be helpful.
Physical activity is another important part of keeping the elderly feeling young and vibrant. Encourage them to take part in daily movement, whether this is a walk, a stretch or even some age-appropriate classes at a gym. Helping and encouraging them to move will help them to feel better and live longer and make the most of their golden years.