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How to Help Care For an Aging Loved One

Eventually, everyone will need some form of help or other when they progress in age. If you have a loved one who has come to this point and you would like to take care of them instead of putting them in a nursing home, it's a great thing to do. Read on to see five ways in which you can take care of them while not suffering from burnout.

Plan Ahead

Taking care of older people is a job that needs good preparation. Understand that there will be times when a lot is expected from you and that your ability to maintain a social life may change somewhat. With 51% of care recipients living in their own home, you may have decided to move in with your aging loved one in order to be better placed to help them. About 29% live with their family members who have decided to bring them into their own home instead of going to theirs, and 4% live in assisted living and nursing homes. Whichever setup you are in, you will find it a lot easier if you plan ahead for situations that have not yet happened.

Get Help if Necessary

It won't be any good if you put in all the effort you can muster for a short time, only to be unable to continue offering your loved one care because you have reached your limit. Make sure that other people help, whether it's asking other family members to step in every now and then, or assigning tasks and duties to different people. Doing this will enable you to stay calm and able to continue giving care for a long time to come, something that your aging loved one will truly appreciate.

Encourage Autonomy

Evaluate your aging loved one's abilities, and, depending on the state they are in, encourage autonomy on their part as long as it's safe for everyone. Many aging people will be happy to lend a helping hand so that they don't feel like they're a burden. Talk to them to find out what they're comfortable doing themselves, and work with them to come up with an easy way for them to do the tasks they choose. With 90% of seniors wanting to stay in their own home as they age, it's going to be great for everyone involved if they can retain as much independence as is safe.

Take Care of Yourself

As a caregiver, it's often easy to neglect your own needs as you put other people ahead of you. Avoid doing this by taking a break every now and then to do something you enjoy doing. Hire someone to take care of cooking and cleaning if possible so that you can use this time positively doing something else. When you have all your needs met, you're likely to be more present and take better care of someone else. Never be guilty about asking for a break to go and treat yourself, or hiring an extra pair of hands to step in where you can't.

Get Financial Help For Medical Issues

People who have gotten on in age tend to have a variety of medical issues that need to be addressed. If you're not careful, you may end up draining all your savings in between trips to the hospital for specialized care. Avoid this by seeking financial assistance wherever you can find it, whether from grants and government bodies or other family members. With about 28.8 million adults in the U.S. being in need of hearing aids, your aging loved one may be one of them and it's important to get them such assistance as soon as possible. This would be easy to do if you did not have to reach into your own pockets for it.

Use the five tips above to help your aging loved one live an amazing life in their sunset years. They will be happy, while you will be fulfilled.

Head of Content, reality TV watcher and lover of cookies. emma@shared.com