Mental Health: There are so many ways that you try to make your senior’s life easier as her family caregiver.
There are physical tasks you take on, health issues you help to manage, and you also need to help her to address emotional needs. It’s all a lot, but it helps if you get clear on what exactly she needs.
Address Security Needs
When your elderly family member is feeling insecure because of her health or other needs, it’s really important that you help her to feel secure. Sit down and talk to her about what is making her feel the way she does and what she thinks might help. One solution to consider is going through your senior’s home to look at ways to make it safer for her.
Help Her to Be as Independent as Possible
Independence might be your senior’s battle cry right now. There are a lot of reasons for that. For starters, she may worry that she’s going to be in a position in which she’s not able to make the key decisions that she needs and wants to make. But it’s also important to consider that she has had decades of independence and giving that up is really difficult. Look for ways to support her in being as independent as she can be but be sure to keep an eye on her mental health.
Find Ways to Connect When You Can’t Be There
Social connection is so important for your senior, too. It helps her to battle loneliness and isolation. If you’re not able to be there with your senior as often as you would like, find some other ways to connect with her. Video chatting, either via computer or through smartphone apps, is a great way to do this. Otherwise, regular phone calls and even sending cards and letters to her can help a lot.
Mental Health: Consider Hiring a Caregiver
Another option is to hire a caregiver for her mental health. Caregivers can spend time with your senior, help her to be safer in her home, and handle household chores that are becoming more difficult for her. If she’s not able to drive, they can do the driving for her. Meal preparation, laundry, and even assisting with bathing and getting dressed are also part of how they can help. Caregivers make fantastic companions, too.
Your senior may have other emotional needs that are more important to her to address. Set aside some time to have a heart to heart with her about those needs and how you might be able to help.