Avoid Putting It Off: Topics You Need To Be Raising With Your Elderly Relatives TODAY
Whether we embrace it or fear it, ageing is a natural part of our lives and our family’s lives. There’s something very special about having multiple generations all in one family. Babies and children give the adults something to fuss over and they can be very entertaining. Whereas our older generations tend to be full of fascinating stories and wise advice. But something you are surely aware of when it comes to your older relatives is that they’re not going to be around forever. This could apply to your grandparents, or your own parents if you are a little longer. Or, you may have an elderly aunt or uncle you are particularly close to.
In these situations, you might find talking about aging or end of life care upsetting. But it doesn’t have to be like that – it’s a natural part of all our lives and if you and your family approach the topic in a mature fashion, it can be a conversation you’re all glad you had.
If your elderly relatives are already suffering from ill health, you may need to consider their ability to continue to live independently. It can be a difficult topic to bring up, but sit your loved one down and explain why you are concerned about them. Stress that you are still keen for them to live as independently as possible, but that for their own wellbeing, you think they might need some extra help. This could be anything from yourself visiting every day to check on things, or hiring home help to assist with tasks such as cleaning. A lot of older people can find this kind of thing offensive, so try to be as tactful as possible. If you face a lot of resistance, suggest a trial, in order to see if they like it or not. Chances are, they will enjoy having a chat with the home help who come to visit, and will be keen for it to continue once they see the benefits.
If you relative is seriously ill and cannot remain in their own home, you may need to think about moving them into a care facility. This can be a traumatic experience for everyone, but by making sure you have a home that suits everyone’s needs, it can be a lot easier. Look into a company such as MACS which can offer a range of services that meet your relative’s requirements. A home which is nearby, preferably within walking distance, is ideal, so all the family can continue to visit.
Encourage an active lifestyle
Your elderly relatives may find that they need to slow down a bit as they get older. When this happens, it can be disheartening for them, and they may be tempted to simply hide away. But this can have a long-term, detrimental effect on them. Encourage them to think of new ways to get out and about. For example, if they find walking difficult, but love going to the park, suggest a walking stick or a mobility scooter. There are plenty of ways round old age, and make sure your relatives know they are still an important part of the family even if they can’t do as much.