It is a blessing to take care of your grandparents and an even more significant benefit to having them in your life. Consider these two primary goals in figuring out the best plan of care for them; To keep them active as much as possible and to make them feel loved.
Understand that you will need resources such as healthcare equipment to fulfil these goals; of course, this will vary depending on the current state of your grandparent. You will need a great deal of patience, time and money. Also, understand that though you know your role as a grandkid/caregiver, there could be challenges that arise because they are reaching senility. This usually results in depression, frustration and rebellion. On the other hand, you, who takes care of them may be juggling the responsibilities of taking care of your grandparent and your personal affairs.
So, before anything else, you must have reinforcements. This is so you can take days off, know what to expect can be prepare adequately.
- You have to provide them with all-out support.
The least that the elderly would want is to be reminded almost every day how they are practically incapable and useless because of aging. Understand that they long for a good company above all else. To talk to and to assist them through. Daily activities become harder for them to do because of the physical decline that defines aging. Remind them that it is not their fault. Instead, aging is a natural way of life.
You taking care of your grandparent matters to them. Moreover, that there’s somebody to laugh off difficult times. So, supporting them usually means spending time with them by merely sitting down and listening to their stories. Give this unselfishly. It’s one of the most priceless moments you could ever have yourself. This is why sometimes elderly people can feel lonely, and unloved when family members admit them into an aged care facility.
- It will be helpful if you come up with a routine.
With the right diet, regular exercise and a dose of motivation and laughter every day, they may be able to thrive happily and actively. This may be followed up by a routine for them to follow. The good idea is to encourage them to find a community to hang out with who could abide by the method themselves involving the right diet, a shared hobby (like scrabble) and an exercise regime. This gives them something to look forward.
- Continuously empower them with little progress each day.
To take care of your grandparents, eases them from thinking that they are useless. Majority of the elderly would prefer living with their families at all costs. But there’s decreasing independence, aggravating conditions (a.k.a. diabetes, hypertension and arthritis) and reducing mental capacity. Not to mention, to decrease flexibility and increasing muscular atrophy or only, decreasing strength. They might need you almost every time. So, your mind and body should also be set in handling this kind of task.
- Know what to expect.
Elderly’s senses diminish progressively. This affects their food preferences. Sometimes, they could end up criticising the cook putting something in her food. Also, they start to become immobile. When they call on you, and you’re not readily available, they get impatient. They tend to be stubborn around it and would insist on going on their own. This is why falls happen more at home among the elderly than anywhere else. Plus the fact that the house may lack the necessary handrails that they could hold onto when navigating around the house. And one of the most frustrating of these instances decreased ability in driving. Because of the frustration that comes with these limitations, they tend to become rebellious and are compelled to act irresponsibly by going on their own.
- Never blame yourself
Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance when your resources run out. It may require much of your attention 24/7 when you decide to take care of your grandparent. This may cost time out of your hands for employment, social life and even a me-time. This could affect your income, relationships and recreation. You may coordinate with friends and other family members when the time comes that you cannot afford it anymore. Or if there’s only you left, you might need to consider bringing your grandparent to a home, which you should never feel guilty.