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How to care for elderly relatives

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Thanks to advances in medical sciences and standards of living, life expectancy in the UK has increased steadily over the past 40 years. And, of course, this is positive news.

However, this also means that there is a larger elderly population today than before. Living longer poses some significant challenges to those people, as well as those that love them.

Older adults need much more than medication in order to stay healthy. There are multiple factors to having a good quality of life and, fortunately, some of them can even be influenced by caring family members.

With that in mind, we’ve put together this short guide. Keep reading to learn the key things you can do to care for your elderly relatives.

Educate yourself

Keep abreast of the latest innovations and best practices in caregiving. That way, you’ll be better positioned to know where to look for any help they might need.

Research the various forms of care that they might benefit from, including both hospital and at-home settings. In some cases, these services can be costly. So, it’s prudent to consider what resources you can use for support should your relative need professional care. The options range from government grants and benefits to quick online loans – be sure to weigh up the pros and cons of each carefully.

Stay in touch

According to Age UK, elderly people in the UK are 5.5 times more likely to feel lonely, often without someone to open up to when they need to talk.

You can combat this by simply keeping in contact with them and giving them a shoulder to lean on. The most important thing is that they feel heard – so you’ll mostly need to listen, avoiding the natural urge to interrupt or fill any awkward silences.

Help them feel included

One of the biggest struggles of growing old is feeling like you no longer have anything to contribute to others. That being said, elderly people still have so much to give – they might just not be aware of it. So, try to create situations in which they can play an active role in your family community.

Create a safe environment

People of all ages need to feel safe in their surroundings, even when they’re by themselves. This is just as true for elderly people, if not more. So, be sure to mitigate as many risks in their environment as you can. This will help guarantee the conditions most conducive to their feeling of comfort and peace of mind.

Do you care for an elderly family member? What are your favourite ways to help improve their quality of life? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section.

Photo by zero take on Unsplash

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