Creating a Plan for Aging Loved Ones
By, Crystal S. Kauffman, Contributing Writer
Families should be the first choice in caring for an aging loved one, since the loved one will recuperate better in familiar surroundings. The entire family should be given a voice, on whether he or she will become a full-time caregiver. However, a reality is that some families are unable or unfit, so the hospital would be the proper choice in these circumstances. If a family is willing to care for their loved one, the aging member actually benefits for the closeness of the family unit.
Create a Plan
First, the entire family should discuss their aging loved ones health care and make a plan, which can be instituted once it is needed. One family member may become the fulltime caregiver, while other family members come by and help as needed. This will give the fulltime caregiver a break, as well as peace of mind knowing their loved one is safe while they run errands. The entire family will transition into their new roles, by discussing and creating the plan before the emergency.
Thinking about Pets
Most aging loved ones have pets, which cannot be brought to the nursing home with him or her. Instead, he or she can keep the beloved pet at home or even at a relative’s home, instead of having to give away another piece of his or her life. Sometimes, the relative may have a pet that he or she can become attached to as well. Fortunately, pets can help keep him or her from becoming depressed with the new circumstances that they are faced with.
Teenagers and Small Children
Be sure to let teenagers and small children help out in different ways like reading a book to singing with their loved one. In addition, the child can take him or her for a walk or help clean up the room as needed. Children are usually welcomed by the aging loved one, since children make them laugh and given them someone to chat with. Sometimes, they may not be in the mood to deal with a small child, so families should judge her or her mood first.
Choosing a Nursing Home
Not all families can provide around-the-clock care for an aging loved one and this may put the loved ones life at risk. Unfortunately, there are also family members who are unfit to care for an aging loved one. In these situations, the family will need to find a good nursing home that will care for his or her aging loved one in the proper way. They should investigate and ask other patients about the facility or its nurses, as well as visit often to detour any possible abuse.
In conclusion, a family should be given the option of caring for their aging loved one, before a nursing home is consulted. The entire family should develop a plan before their loved one gets ill, in order to take the stress out of this transition and role reversal. Additionally, pets and children can help an aging loved one, by keeping them from get depressed and by also keeping them moving. However, if a nursing home is chosen, the family should make sure it is an abuse-free facility by investigating it before their loved one moves in.
By, Crystal S. Kauffman, Contributing Writer
Parents are an enormous part of a child's life, as they begin to grow into adulthood. Soon, their children begin growing up and starting their own families. This causes them to become less dependent on their parents, due to their new found responsibilities. Unfortunately, this can create loneliness in the parent, especially when they realize that they have an empty nest. Some seniors are faced with chronic medical problems that seem to rob them of their independence.
Soon, the feelings of loneliness and worthlessness will manage to invade their heart. Sometimes they will begin withdrawing from family functions and begin feeling depressed. Without immediate medical care, the depression will take over their lives and cause them to contemplate suicide. Most seniors feel like they are a burden to their family members or others who may be helping them. Each family member must look for the red flags or warning signs that will let them know how their parent feels.
Look for sudden withdrawals from normal activities, excessive anger or frustration, or feelings of wanting to die. The best way to combat the depression is to understand the symptoms and find them the proper medical help immediately. Financial issues can also lead a retired senior, into thinking that they would be better off dead. However, the only way that families can stop this silent killer, is by being supportive and recognize the signs of depression.
Try making time to be a part of their life daily, if just call them daily and let them talk about whatever you want. Take them out for a movie or to eat at their favorite restaurant, because it is the little things that will help bring them out of their depression. Make the aging parent feel wanted and needed, because it can help families keep their loved one from suffering with depression.
The loneliness can disappear and the aging family member will feel happy and full of love. Honestly, there is no easy way to handle the depression that most seniors face, as they become less independent. Just letting them know someone cares will brighten their day and help them feel special. Create a scrapbook of memories to share with them and let them pick out their favorite pictures.
Sometimes, just spending the day with them will let enjoy their grandchildren, as well as their adult child. Never ignore the warning signs of depression or loneliness in an aging parent. Step in and do little things like laundry or cooking, because that will allow them to spend time doing their favorite hobby like puzzles or sewing.
Reference: Personal Experience
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