Finding balance in life is always a difficult thing, whether it is between work and play or family and friends. Everyone faces these issues and only a few overcome them. Sometimes, for single working individuals, taking care of their elderly parents can also be a daunting task. From the special medical attention needed to ensuring that they have the appropriate company and most importantly the constant concern associated with their safety, whether it is your parents or  in-laws, the complications can be immense.

Help however, is available at hand these days, allowing you to fulfil your responsibilities better and to make sure that the elders in your life, have the best living environment that you are able to provide. While nothing compares to company/benefits of a family and friends, these methods are almost lifesaving in today’s busy schedule, when we are constantly pressed for time.

Getting a professional help

A nurse or a caretaker can prove to be an excellent option for ensuring that your elderly loved ones are cared for at home. They have proper training and will know what medicines to give, what diet the elderly should have, what exercises are best and the necessary steps to be taken in case of emergencies. However, they are only a boon if you make sure that you are hiring from the right agencies, as there are a lot of frauds out there, just waiting for an opportunity to strike.

Community Living Homes

Most of the old age homes in the country are run by either NGOs or the government, and none of them provide the level of service your elderly loved one’s deserve. A new option that is taking root in India, pioneered by The Golden Estate, is that of community living homes. These societies on the lines similar to flats that are rented out by individuals; however the difference is the services they provide. From taking care of their dietary needs to ensuring recreational facilities for the elderly to having a doctor on call at the campus, these places are prepared to take care of the hourly needs of your loved ones to ensure they have a dignified life. Be sure to check out the credibility of a community home before letting your parents live there.

Planning & Reminders

Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest ones. Planning is critical in taking care of your loved ones and if you are not able to plan properly, please spend some time with those experienced in taking care of the elderly to anticipate and prepare for the future needs of your loved ones.

Once you are able to see what needs your loved ones have and what areas need most attention, use reminders,  such as sticky notes or on mobile phones. Reinforce the message of taking medicines, proper food, and adequate exercise etc. and be at peace about the needs of your loved ones.

Seeking help from family or relatives

Get close family members or relatives involved in the care-giving responsibilities. Ask for and accept help from your partner, siblings & friends and you might find that others benefit from the experience. For example, getting your children involved in the caring gives them a great chance to bond with their grandparents.

Local groups

There are plenty of resources available on the internet, which can help you in providing care to those with special needs such as Alzheimer’s patients or those suffering from diabetes. In these local groups, people share their experiences and are sometimes even willing to provide specific advice about your elderly loved one’s need. They can be an excellent resource for you providing care, but before you take up any advice, please make sure you check with your doctor to avoid any issues.

But if you can’t find a local group, why not seek out an informal one of your own? Do you know anyone else in a similar position? If so, catch up with them for a coffee regularly. You might learn some new caring methods from them, perhaps be able to barter respite care with each other, or just air your grievances and feel a bit better for it.

Technology

Technology is revolutionising the way we do things today, and elderly care is not far behind. From alerts and warning systems related to falling on the ground, to automated information in case of cardiovascular issues. Look for the problem you are trying to solve, and are bound to find a technological solution related to it.

It is indeed critical that you keep yourself alert whilst caring for the elderly at home. Remember “There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.”

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