Care for Elderly Relative
Caring For Your Elderly Relatives
Caring for anyone takes patience, but when you are caring for your elderly relatives then it becomes much harder for all concerned. Why?
Because of your history with these people, you will find that it is much harder to care for them than for someone you haven't known previously. You will remember how they reacted to you when they were younger and more able, and they will remember when you were a toddler, and it won't seem "normal" to either of you.
Your relatives are likely to feel embarrassed at not being able to care for themselves, which is natural enough, but it still has to be a feeling that is dealt with carefully and with sensitivity. In fact, it may prove to be a better solution to pay for someone to look after them on your behalf, but of course that depends on the state of your and their finances. By paying for their care, it may be easier on your emotions, and theirs, and there are plenty of great carers around.
One of the most difficult things to deal with is the attitude of the elder. They may be very bitter about needing help, and may complain about their treatment by the carer. It is difficult in many cases to know what exactly is going on, whether your relative is just venting his/her anger at the situation he finds himself in, or whether there really is cause for concern.
For some, the thought of having to deal with all aspects of a relatives life seems far too invasive. For example, having to bathe them, help them to the bathroom, perhaps feed them, can be so difficult, but if the finances are not there, there probably isn't another alternative. My advice is to be understanding of their feelings too, as they are probably going to feel uncomfortable too. If you can keep your emotions out of the task, it will go easier, but this is very hard when relatives are involved!
Perhaps if full time care is needed, you can arrange to have a home care helper come in a few hours a day, or week, to help with some of these activities, to reduce the burden on you. And unfortunately it may become a burden. If possible you need to enlist the help of other family members, even if not full time, just so that you can have a break from being the only carer. Or perhaps there is a seniors day care that will take your relative once or twice a week for a few hours.
Making sure that you get some breaks regularly will enable you to spend some time looking after your own needs and your own family. You should always try to maintain some of your own life if at all possible. Your friends will understand if you can't get together every week, but you should still try to meet whenever possible. You may need the support of these friends later.
To look for additional help for your relatives, you can use the posting boards at libraries and community centers, and also go on the internet these days, to find someon suitable. Always check out testimonials, and ask amongst your friends and family for their recommendations. After all is said and done,your life will be much easier if your relative likes the person caring for him!
And remember, you will be elderly one day, so treat your elderly relatives as you would like to be treated!