Having an elderly family member who lives alone can be difficult to deal with. You may worry about their wellbeing and safety, especially if you are unable to stay in contact or see them regularly due to distance or responsibilities. Many elderly people refuse the assistance of outsiders or are placed into care because they value their freedoms and autonomy. As their loved one, it is your duty to abide by their wishes but also acts in a way that is helpful for them. You want to ensure they feel empowered and independent, but you should also make the effort to help out wherever necessary. Get your elderly Family member a recliner chair for elderly to keep them Comfy and relaxed.
There are many unavoidable aspects of aging, but loneliness does not have to be one of them. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 11 million Americans aged 65 or older live alone, constituting approximately 28% of this age population. People who live alone or in isolated conditions may develop separation, despair, and difficulty forming relationships with others.
Caregivers, friends, and loved ones can assist seniors combat loneliness by keeping them interested in activities such as games and exercise, and by encouraging them to participate in social activities at your local senior center and other locations.
We have compiled expert recommendations on how family members can combat loneliness in their loved ones.
Ask Them What They Want
Pay close attention to their wishes. You don’t want to make them feel incapable or unable to carry out basic duties or their daily activities. Speak to them openly and honestly and let them know that because you love and care about them, and you want to be able to offer them help where they need it. Giving them the choice of the help you can provide them is empowering. Be careful though not to patronize your elderly and make them feel like you know what is best for them. Even if your intentions are pure, it can make them feel invalidated and small and could lead to them refusing your help. Instead, offer a helping hand that is compassionate and understanding.
Helping out with your elderly’s meals and even meal preparation can be a huge relief. If they like a certain dish, you can make it for them in large amounts and freeze it in their home so they have access to it whenever they need it. They might struggle with certain elements like chopping or opening cans, so doing the meal preparation for seniors can provide them with the assistance they need. Making meals easier for them to make and enjoy delicious and nutritious meals is good for their mental and physical health.
You can introduce them to the world of online deliveries. If they don’t have much contact with the internet, you can show your elder family member how they can use it to make purchases like clothes, miscellaneous items, and especially, their groceries. This can help empower them to make their own choices of food and grocery items without needing to strain themselves going to the store or have someone else do their shopping.
It is easy enough to set up online food shopping so that they can re-order the same items. This will make it easier especially if you aren’t around to help. Giving them a level of control over this aspect of their lives gives them a sense of independence and autonomy.
Assist them with keeping on top of their health. If they need medication, ensure there is a system in the process where you or someone else is able to pick up their medicine on time. Some pharmacies offer a delivery service so see if this is an option. Encourage them to look after their health. If they are stubborn about it, you can plan days out that involve walking or being out in nature. This can make all the difference to their health and wellbeing and encourages a greater sense of positivity.
Even if your family member is fiercely independent and strong, they can easily fall into feelings of loneliness or sadness. It can be difficult to live alone, even elderly couples can experience a feeling of loneliness. One of the best things you could do is provide them with emotional support. Emotional health is key to supporting mental and physical health. A person with a positive mindset is more likely to make good lifestyle choices.
Prepare your elderly in the case of emergencies. Ensure there are plans in place if something were to happen. Place emergency numbers and contact information in a clear and easily accessible area. Ensure you and other family members are aware of the medication they take and any other health information that could be vital to know if something were to happen.
You could also arrange with a neighbor or someone who lives close by to check up on your elderly loved ones if you are worried or you haven’t been able to get a hold of them. It could also be helpful if a neighbor, yourself, or other family members had a key so that they can gain access if necessary.
Assistance with Domestic Chores
Growing older can make it difficult to perform even the most basic household tasks.
Often, elderly people are extremely appreciative of any offer of assistance with basic tasks such as bringing out the trash, changing light bulbs, securing sash windows, clearing snow from the path, hanging pictures, etc.
Assist Them in Developing a Feeling of Purpose
Possibly more than anything else, it is crucial for elders to have a feeling of purpose. There is no single activity that encourages seniors to be more socially engaged and less isolated than the others; however, a diversity of pastimes will promote seniors to be more socially active and less isolated. Even something as basic as a card club that meets multiple times per week or picking up a hobby can have a favorable effect. Similarly, volunteering can provide seniors with a feeling of purpose and fulfillment in addition to keeping them socially active.
Maintain their Physical Activity
According to research, physical activity can save the lives of elderly people. Walking, stair climbing, and other age-appropriate exercises can help a senior maintain solid physical, mental, and emotional health.
You can also encourage the depressed person to enroll in a group fitness class, such as yoga or tai chi; they may even make friends with people who share their condition.
Charge Them with A Task
Elderly who live alone are frequently consumed by negative thoughts. If you could entrust them with a meaningful duty, it would be fantastic.
A dog is the ideal companion for mobile elderly since it will make them feel loved and needed, keep them physically active, and facilitate social interaction.
Caring for a plant may also be a powerful mood-booster: my mother-in-depression law’s has improved since I gave her a moringa tree to maintain.
How Can Children Assist the Elderly Live Successfully On Their Own?
As the adult child of a parent who lives alone, you may feel overwhelmed in determining the most effective method to assist them. If your parent has lived alone before or this is a new scenario, following measures will help them have a successful experience.
This is the moment to create advance directives if you haven’t already. Discuss healthcare and financial power of attorney with your parent if they become incapable of managing their own affairs. As your parent ages, you will be required to have the legal authority to represent them.
Evaluate home security
Living safely alone should be a vital component of your commitment. You cannot prevent every accident, but you can lessen the likelihood of falls and other mishaps by taking precautions. Eliminating clutter, installing grab bars and other accessible measures, and ensuring that all systems are secure and up-to-date should all contribute to the safety of the home. If your parent is still residing in their house, you could engage a home inspector to discover any potential hazards or maintenance problems.
If your parent mismanages their drugs, there may be severe medical repercussions. Begin by analyzing the medication list and comparing it to what the patient is currently taking. Remove from the medical cabinet any discontinued or expired medications.
If your parent needs assistance organizing their prescriptions, there are numerous pharmaceutical dispensing systems available. Check often to ensure the functioning of the system you’ve established.
Consider Employing a Manager of Geriatric Care
If you live far away from your parent and no other family members are nearby, a geriatric care manager (GCM) can provide support and oversight. A GCM can plan routine assessments of the home’s condition and your parent’s well-being. A GCM is able to provide recommendations, recruit necessary personnel, and oversee services.
Visiting frequently may appear obvious, but due to your hectic schedule, visits are occasionally neglected. Your father desires to see you and other family members more frequently than you may believe.
There are several ways to accommodate visits into your hectic schedule. The first step is to plan visits in advance, possibly once per week. If you live too far away to visit in person, try video conferencing to establish a more personal relationship. Consider paying someone to teach your parent how to use this type of technology if they do not already know how. Access to telemedicine services is a further advantage of studying video conferencing.
Use these tips to help support and look after your elderly family members who live alone. They will appreciate the love and care you show them, and you can protect their independence and strength by offering help where they need it.