Supporting Aging Family Members

Caring for members of our family is a natural thing to want to do, but especially important when they are elderly.

However, it can be challenging and a thankless task at times. Supporting aging family members takes kindness, patience and an endless supply of love.

Visit Regularly

We all have busy lives and it can be very easy not to build into our weekly schedule a visit or two to our relatives. It might not even cross our minds that your friendly face could be the only one aside from carers, medical staff and cleaners that they may see on a regular basis.

It is vital that we remember how dedicated to us our family were when we were young and that it’s now our turn to give something back. Just reminiscing while looking at old photographs and mementoes can mean a lot.

Encourage Activity

Encouraging your family member to get out and about is a really important thing in order to make them feel as though their life is worth living. Independence can decrease, but that does not need to equate to stopping everything they enjoy in life. Maintaining hobbies can prevent the brain from deteriorating.

Opportunities for physical activity, such as walking, swimming, even dance classes, are to be encouraged too. If they struggle to move, there are still lots of clubs which are accessible. Not only will they fill their days with interest, but they can also be wonderful places to socialise. 

Advocate For Them

If a family member struggles to advocate for themselves, it could be your time to step in. Financial considerations must be made. It is very easy for elderly people to be conned into giving away money to people who prey on the older generation.

Therefore, having some kind of control over their spending can be beneficial to avoid such scenarios. Decisions relating to their health may also be almost impossible for them to make. 

Discuss Senior Living

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Broaching the conversation about moving to a senior living community as early as possible is important as it could come to the stage one day when it is no longer possible. A move such as this could help your family member to maintain a certain standard of living as well as independence.

Not only this, but it can also provide them with an array of socializing opportunities. Care-driven communities do not have to be dull and boring; fun doesn’t need to stop once you hit a certain age and the right choice in senior living can enable that.

Plan Ahead

Having a contingency plan in place just in case your family member needs emergency care is important. If they are still living in their original home, ensure that there is a list of numbers of people to call next to the phone.

Discussing with other people in your family who will be able to support you in this is vital. You cannot be constantly close by, you might be on vacation for example, so ensuring that other people are able to assist in case of emergency is imperative. 

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Before you go, we'd love to hear from you in the comments below. I'm working hard to build a community here and a big part of that are your contributions!

If you have experiences to share, questions, comments, suggestions, or anything else, please leave a comment.
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Ava Moore
BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.

I'm the Chief Editor here at Independent Femme and would love to hear from you.

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