As the number of winters passed in a person’s life increase, they start entering a phase where they get dependent on others. It is often said that as a person ages, they should be taken care of as a child.
As a person ages, their ability to do the basic everyday jobs such as bathing, eating, brushing or going to the toilet tends to decrease and they need help. If you have elder parents or grandparents whom you are helping or you have volunteered to help any other elderly, it is important to stay calm and not lose your cool as elders can make anyone paranoid without even knowing. It is important to stay sane and perform the duties well and here are a few points to remember to maintain the elderly’s and your own hygiene.
- Planning for the future is always a good step and one should think thoroughly about the needs of the elderly. Such as if they are not going outside to meet people; a reason might be bladder problems and need to urinate every now and then and by talking you can understand the problem and propose a solution such as adult diapers. By planning you save yourself and the elderly from any trouble they might endure due to negligence.
- Keeping the person active is a way to ensure they don’t fall into the depths of complete dependence which can cause a nervous breakdown. Ensure that the person walks around or performs basic tasks such as bathing, brushing but not at the cost of pain and suffering. If the person is bed ridden, they should be encouraged to sit up and lie down on their own or brush on their own. The elderly should be encouraged to walk or meet people outside their homes so their body movement continues.
- Taking expert advice is always a good step and talking to a nurse or geriatrics might help you a lot. They might provide you with some information or tips that you can follow to take better care of the elderly person. Talking to them about what all things and equipment are needed and it can be a help in managing finances too. Expert advice is very important when it comes to proper medication and when the elderly should be brought to the doctor for a visit.
- Keeping the elderly clean should be top priority as they are more prone to infections than average aged people. If they can brush and bath then you should encourage them to keep doing it so they remain active but if they are unable to perform it, then you should do it for them. You should start by washing one area of the body at a time while covering the rest with a blanket or soft cloth so as to help them keep their dignity. After washing the whole body, you can clean the private areas of their body.
- Washing bed ridden people is more important to remove the threats of infections and bed baths can be done for them. Giving a bed bath everyday is not important but changing their undergarments every day should be a routine. Special basins are available for washing the hair of the bed ridden. Shaving and hair cuts should be regular for the elderly and their nails should also be trimmed from time to time.
- Respecting and cheering an elderly person is very important to help them improve their state of mind. Showing your support will not only let them be happy about your help, it might even enhance their medical health. Keeping an old person physically active is important but their mental health is as important as their physical health. To ensure they don’t have a breakdown, one should hold dinners and meetings so that they get to spend time with you and if they are living with you, then you should talk to them often so they don’t feel alone and think of themselves as a burden. If they don’t like to go outside, the reason might be bladder problems or frequent bowel movements. Using adult diapers and a portable faucet might be a good idea.
- If you are helping an elderly person in their chores, be prepared to face a lot of challenges from the person. As one gets older, they show more resistance while you help them. Don’t let this demotivate you in providing them the help they so rightfully deserve. Along with keeping them clean, you should keep your hygiene up to the mark too. Trim and clean your nails regularly and use a sanitizer or wash your hands before touching them so they don’t get infected with anything.
- It is never early to think of the worst case scenarios and to be equipped for the future you need to start in the present. Gather the basic medical supplies in case of an emergency keeping in mind the needs of you, your family and especially the elderly person. Having medical supplies at bay can keep you two paces ahead in case of an emergency.
As time progresses, you need to remain calm and stay patient while taking care of an elderly person to let them live their time in peace. As time goes by, the problems they face might go from bad to worse and it is important that the time they have left should be around their loved ones. While taking care of an elderly don’t forget about your health as it holds the same importance.
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