Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Looking After Your Family Or Friends As They Get Older

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No matter how young or old you may be, there’s most likely somebody in your life who’s getting on in life a little bit. Perhaps you’ve noticed that they’re not as spritely as they once were or that their mind doesn’t quite connect the dots in the same way that it used to. Without being patronizing, it’s important to do all you can to look after loved ones as they get older. It’s not about taking away their independence but recognizing that we all get old.

The point is that you’ll most likely want somebody to help you out in later life if you’re struggling mentally or physically, so you need to treat others as you’ll one day wish to be treated. That might involve small things such as holding a door open or bigger things such as taking them out for a meal so that you can all catch up and spend some quality time together. Whether it’s a parent, a grandparent, or simply an old friend, here are some pieces of advice on looking after loved ones as they get older.

Gifts


People say that money and commodities can’t buy happiness but, when you gift something to someone else, that’s an entirely different story. Such a gesture is a way of showing a loved one how much they mean to you. If your old friend or family member is retired and their time is finally their own then maybe you could help them truly relish in their freedom by treating them to a vacation. You could go with them on this trip or it could be a gift for your loved one and their partner. Whatever the case, there’s no greater gift than a memory and that special person in your life will certainly remember a traveling experience more than any other physical gift you could give them. There doesn’t have to be a special occasion either; life is for living today, so surprise them with this gift out of the blue.
 

Physical care

 
Of course, your friend or relative might be getting to that stage in life at which looking after themselves is becoming difficult. Perhaps they can’t walk as well as they used to and they’re prone to falling off or injuring themselves. Even if someone’s mind is still young and sharp, it can be very difficult to do simple things once the body deteriorates, so you need to be strong enough to help your loved one when they need it; even if they try to refuse your help. That might even involve moving in with them if they want or need that extra assistance. As for mental deterioration, of course, you might struggle to take care of your friend or family member on your own.
 
Confusion and memory loss can be very difficult things with which to deal; not only for the sufferer but for you and other people who love this person. You might want to start looking into a nursing home for dementia as soon as possible if the doctor says it’s an indication of early signs of that mental condition. The best thing you can do is to provide your loved one with a comfortable state of existence.

Freedom


Most importantly, you need to ensure your loved one has as much freedom as possible. We’ve talked in this article about how tough it can be when a friend or relative becomes too old to look after themselves and they need that extra help. Whilst they may lose some element of their independence, however, there’s still a lot you can do to ensure your loved one has as much freedom as possible in life. For example, whilst you may have to be their chauffeur if they’re no longer fit to drive, you could certainly help this friend or family member by driving them to activities they’ve arranged with their friends or meals they wish to treat you to. Retaining independence in that sense is very important.
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