Thursday, 29 January 2015

Providing Care for Elderly Couples

Do you have an elderly couple in the family? Caring for them probably isn’t something you want to think too much about, is it? It’s important that you do think about it, however, as you don’t want them to be without care when they need it.

So what can you do to help provide care for an elderly couple? Here are some tips…

Don’t presume they can cope

It can be all too easy to presume that just because they are together that both are coping well enough. Sure, it helps that they have someone to talk to, which can help keep them mentally stimulated, but it’s the physical side of things you need to be more aware of.
If one member of the couple, whether they’re family or friends, is less physically able then the other is going to have to do extra work to care for them, which could put undue strain on their own physical capabilities.

A phone call can work wonders

You don’t have to pop round every day to double check whether they’re alright (unless you want to of course) – sometimes a quick phone call is all it takes. It lets you know how they’re getting on and lets them know that you’re thinking of them. You could even try video calling if they’re technologically proficient enough to work a computer or tablet. This can be a good idea if you have children as they will no doubt be thrilled to be able to see them.

Recognise their individual needs

It might sound bizarre but it’s easy to think of a couple as one person and their needs being the same. This, of course, isn’t the case and you need to be aware of their individual needs so you can deal with them appropriately. For example, if one half of the couple needs significantly more care, then the other person may get a little forgotten about, which is perfectly natural to be honest. Just because that person is physically more able doesn’t mean they don’t need other types of care.

Recognise if they require more care

If you’re already providing as much care as you can and it’s still not enough then it might be time to consider other care options. This isn’t a slight on anyone, but sometimes it’s just not possible to provide adequate levels of care unless you became a full time carer yourself. There are care at home options available as well as retirement homes, although it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Somewhere like Extra Care might be worth a look to see the kinds of things that are out there. 
 It is also important to consider that as we move on to the digital age, it is very important to protect the elderly online.
Age UK can provide some more information on this.

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