How to Care for an Elderly Relative After Illness

by - September 01, 2019

Person Holding White Medication Tablet

Looking after an elderly relative after an illness can be a tough balancing act. On the one hand, they are an adult and will want a bit of space and independence; on the other hand, age makes us all the more vulnerable and, like it or not, they will need your help. 

Everyone suffers from illness once in a while and asking for the right help can be just as difficult as doing things for yourself. So, when you offer to help a relative, make sure you are specific when you are offering them help as well as giving them a chance to ask for anything else they might need. 

Therapy and Rehabilitation

A good way to ensure that your loved one is taken care of properly is by checking them into a Rehabilitation Center. This is usually the most comfortable place for them to recover and many have suites just like a hotel! Having on site care also takes a lot off your mind; they will be safest where they can access the help they need. Plus, they will be surrounded by people going through similar things so will have a ready-made social circle for support. 

If they want to recover at home, you must make sure that they still have access to the therapies they may need. For example, if they need physiotherapy, you should make sure that a professional either comes to them or they can make regular appointments. Sometimes people feel more comfortable at home so try to respect their wishes where possible. 

Help at Home

A major issue for anyone recovering from an illness is staying on top of the basics like chores, cooking and cleaning. One of the best ways you can help is by doing their shopping, cooking healthy meals for the freezer and cleaning when you visit. This way, they won’t need to worry about anything but getting better.

As your relative regains some strength, you can gradually back off. For example, you might improve your cooking skills together and teach them how to make easy meals for a healthier lifestyle. You also might start doing the shopping together so that they can get a trip out and can choose the things they want but still have the support they need.

Social Time Together

Socializing is really important for everyone - if you’ve ever been alone for a long period of time and started feeling a bit crazy, you’ll know exactly why! But elderly people, and particularly those who are recovering from an illness, can’t just go out and chat. They need other ways to socialize.

Even if you are visiting regularly, make sure that you leave some time to just sit and chat. There is nothing worse that having a family member come round regularly, clean and do the chores and then rush out without talking together first. It might be frustrating but factor in a good 20 minutes over a warm drink to catch up and chat about something innocuous like what’s on TV. Honestly, this will help them the most. 

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Check out my book Milo’s Meals: A Healthy Recipe Guide for The Picky Toddler available on Amazon in convenient eBook and paperback!

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