Most people are eager to retain their independence as they get older, but this doesn’t mean they don’t require help from time-to-time. In fact, the vast majority of seniors require some form of assistance. If you’re eager to assist older family members but you’re not sure how to broach the subject, take a look at these useful ways to help older family members:
1. Take Over Grocery Shopping
Grocery shopping can become increasingly difficult for older people, particularly if they no longer drive a vehicle or aren’t in great health. By taking over this chore, you can save your relative time, money, worry, and hassle. If your family member is still eager to take an active role, why not accompany them to the store or help them to place an online order?
2. Offer Yard Services
If your loved one still lives in their own home, it’s likely they’ll need help keeping the property well-maintained. Tidying a yard can be particularly difficult for older people, especially if they have any medical or mobility issues. Things like mowing the lawn, trimming the trees, and weeding flowerbeds will ensure your relative is still able to enjoy their garden, without attempting to manage the practicalities of maintaining a yard.
3. Arrange Extra Care
If your family member requires extra support, it may be appropriate to arrange care services on their behalf. However, you don’t have to use an external agency or care provider, if you don’t want to. Take a look at this CDPAP guide to find out how family members can become recognized caregivers. The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) ensures family members can access financial reimbursement when they provide care for a loved one, which can assist with the practical impact of caring for an older family member.
4. Teach Them to Use Tech
Many older people love using the latest tech, but they may need a little assistance when they’re first learning. Showing your relative how to use all the features on their smartphone or how to log on to a tablet gives them a little more freedom and enables them to pursue a whole range of hobbies. In addition to this, seniors can stay in touch with family members and friends via email, instant messaging, and video chats, so it’s a great way to ease loneliness too.
5. Ask for Their Opinion
Older people can sometimes be hesitant to ask for help because they don’t want to be a burden on family members. However, letting your loved one know that you’re eager to help and asking what you can do for them will encourage them to ask for assistance. By talking first, you can ensure you provide the help that’s needed and wanted, while still allowing your family member to maintain their independence.
Providing Care as a Family Member
If you’re taking on the role of a caregiver, be sure to remember your own physical, emotional and practical needs. While it’s natural to want to support family members, being a caregiver takes a toll on anyone. By accessing the practical and financial support you need, as well as taking time out to prioritize your own mental and emotional well-being, you can ensure that becoming a caregiver for an older family member is a positive experience for everyone involved.