Inevitably, old age results in the overall decline of mental and physical vitality. Changes in appearance, demeanour, emotional wellbeing and even standard of life are also to be expected. For most of us, ensuring our elderly loved ones are receiving the support and care they need is of the utmost importance. Although it can be hard to know how to help, especially if said person is determined to stay fiercely independent. As they get older it is important for us to educate ourselves on the effects and what the options for them are. For example, care homes are often a taboo subject, but they shouldn’t be. They can be a great option for the elderly; they allow the family peace of mind but also allow the residents autonomy. You can find more information on Care Homes in Devon here.
The wellbeing of our elderly relatives is a priority; however, it is difficult to gauge when to intervene. There is a list of things that should be considered when trying to make a decision on elderly care. Activities of daily living (or ADLs) are the essentials necessary for the dignity of the elderly. Their daily living requirements need to be met effectively. The list is as follows.
- Self–feeding, at the very least they should be able to feed themselves. If they simply have no interest in cooking, there are services that deliver food to their door so that you know they are eating nutritionally sound food.
- Functional Mobility: can they move about adequately whilst performing activities such as getting in or out of bed?
- Can they dress properly and appropriately?
- Is their personal hygiene up to par? Can they bathe or shower themselves? Do they do any personal grooming such as shaving or styling their hair?
- Do they have good toilet hygiene?
- Can they clean and maintain their home? Are standards slipping?
- Can they shop for themselves and run their own errands? This can be particularly difficult for those whose mobility is on the decline.
- Are they taking their prescribed or over the counter medication responsibly?
Charities can be a big help in providing support for elderly people and a valuable resource for families.
If any of these ADLs give you cause for concern it could be time to rethink their living arrangements. Perhaps they merely need an at-home helper to pop in on them. Maybe they need a more regimented routine of carers. Perhaps they need their meals delivered. Change is best implemented slowly. It can be tempting to overreact and force too many changes onto your relative too quickly and overwhelm them. There are financial implications to making any changes and choices. The government does have some schemes in place to relieve financial pressure. It is worth doing some in-depth research and take advantage of any government offered help.