Although you might want to believe that your elderly relative will maintain their good health for years to come, this is not always the case, and many families have to confront the fact that their senior’s health is not what it used to be. However, ill-health does not always spell the end to a decent quality of life for your loved one. If you want to prevent their health from worsening and make sure that they are well looked after, here are some of the best steps that you should take when they start to suffer from debilitating health conditions.
Raise Their Health in Conversation
The first step that you should take is to converse with your loved ones about their health. Although this can be difficult, you must be able to talk to them about their needs and what they believe that they can manage to cope with independently. By paving the way for a conversation, you will also be ensuring that they are more likely to come to you when they are worried about their health or if they are experiencing any other symptoms that the doctor does not know about. Once you have raised their health in conversation, you will then be in a better position to make a care plan where you can lay out the next steps that you and they are going to take to ensure that they are fully looked after in their time of need- and that their health does not decline further. Always take out some time to talk to them and talk about fascinating and childish things like treehouse ideas, angels and some funny talks as well.
Install Home Aids into Their Home
Although your elderly loved one might want everything to stay the same, if your loved one wants to remain independent while they are ill, there are some important home adaptations that might need to be made to their home. Installing home aids will protect them from falls and accidents, which could make their health decline even further and prevent them from spending most of their time in the hospital.
For instance, you might consider installing a ramp up to their front and back door in replacement of stairs, and you might also install a shower rail or seat which can take the pressure off their legs when they are washing. If they have limited mobility, you might also consider investing in a stairlift that will enable them to get between the floors of their home without any issues.
You might also consider helping them purchase other pieces of equipment that can help them carry out their usual daily tasks. This includes specialist jar openers and ergonomic can openers which can take the stress out of cooking and prevent them from hurting themselves or from becoming fatigued while they are cooking.
Revamp Their Home Design
As well as installing medical aids into their home, you should also consider revamping the design of their home. For instance, if they use a wheelchair, you might consider widening the door frames for them to enable them to access all of the areas of their home. You might also consider moving furniture around to leave more space to walk between different locations, helping them avoid knocking into furniture and having a fall or becoming injured. You can also give them the company of some small pets by installing some small chicken coop plans in your backyard. In addition to this, creating a minimalist living space may be ideal as this will also help to free up space. Before you revamp their home, though, you should also note any hazards around the space, such as loose wiring or loose throws or rugs that they could trip on.
Split Care Between You
Most people want to help their sick loved ones as much as possible, including providing them with the care they need. However, it can be difficult to become a full-time caregiver, and this can even lead to caregiver burnout. If you have other responsibilities, you should try to split this care with family or friends or a nursing team. If you want to go one step further in your care plan, you could also consider moving them in with you. However, you will need to make sure that your home is safe by making the adjustments that are listed above.
Communicate with Their Medical Team
When your loved one is ill or has a long-term health condition, you must continue to communicate with their medical team throughout their illness and the decline of their health. This will enable you to continue to assess any areas of their life that they may need extra help within, as well as if they care that they are receiving is enough to meet their current needs. Their medical team may also be able to offer advice and suggestions about matters such as their care and living situation, which you can introduce into their lives.
Consider Senior Living Communities
When your elderly loved ones are ill, their current living arrangements may not be suitable if they are struggling to live independently. Although you might think of this as being a last resort, sometimes, senior living communities can be the best option for your elderly loved one if they are in ill health. This is because senior living communities like Brandywine Living employ round-the-clock nurses with experience of senior health issues to give medication to those that need it and to ensure that your loved one’s medical condition is managed appropriately. If your senior is struggling to cope with their health condition, or their health makes a sudden turn for the worst, you should think about whether residential care could be the best option for them.
Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
Even when your loved one becomes ill, it is still important that they can have as healthy a lifestyle as possible. For instance, there are many exercises that elderly people with limited mobility can carry out to stay fit and to stave off issues such as heart disease and the likelihood of a stroke. You should also encourage them to stay active, eat healthily, protect their immune system through a strict personal hygiene routine, and take the right supplements.