If you are at any point in your life given the responsibility of taking care of an elderly relative, neighbour or parent it can be absolutely terrifying because you are left feeling ill-equipped and unable to handle their needs. Being trained in taking care of elderly people can help but most of the task comes down to how much you want to learn and be there.
Never set a timer when taking care of elderly people
Taking care of someone is not just making sure they are well fed and have a roof over their head. With old age comes a lot of loneliness and it can lead to overbearing anxiety. Many people are not able to leave the house due to conditions and illnesses out of their control. Taking the time to talk to them, ask them about their life and what their preferences are what will keep them stronger than any nutritious meal you have in mind. Having a social network has been known to elongate your life and was even mentioned in a Harvard business study. According to Dr George Vaillant who was part of this study for 42 years, people with solid relationships lived longer than others and also helped with physical strength and mental stability.
Keep a record
Know what their medical history was like and go as far back as you can because this can be exactly what you need in a time of crisis. A lot of issues have links between them and knowing how to connect them can save a life. Understanding their conditions and researching them as much as you possibly can, will also make you a better caregiver. Knowing when their check-up dates are and when they need to take their medications without looking at a calendar will leave no room for error.
Have a Plan B Ready for When Things Don’t Go to Plan
Mistakes happen and instead of living in the fear of them happening, make sure you know what to do if they do. Speak to the doctors that are dealing with their case and have a plan in case they take the wrong pill or the right pill at the same time. Patients with dementia, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia all need to be watched closely as well because they can get lost or injured more easily. Instead of being paranoid about what you will do if it happens, make sure you know what to do. This will also keep you calm in the face of crisis. Other family members, neighbours and anybody that is around often should know about these steps as well.