If you are going to interview people whether they like to take care of babies, I bet 98% of them would say Yes. Babies are cuddly, cute and their basic needs just revolve around milk, sleep and play. But if you'll ask them whether they would take care of an elderly or not, majority might say No. Well, this is just my opinion, based on observation.
The circle of life dictates that all, absolutely all people to grow old. Some grow old healthy; still able to do basic tasks of living such as eating, bathing and even doing simple activities at home. There are also those who cannot, probably because they're suffering from old-age related diseases. Nevertheless, no matter what the condition of our elderly loved one is, whether they can walk on their own or need wheels/canes in order to move around, we should take the responsibility of taking care of them. Besides, they took care of us when we're still teeny tiny little kids.
What are the Do's in taking care of the elders?
It is not an easy task to take care of the older ones. We need a lot of patience and understanding because the elders are generally moody. Special care is needed if the one you're caring for has a disability or illness. Below are the Do's in caring for an elderly:
- Do focus on their basic needs such as food, hygiene and exercise.
- Do listen when they're speaking. Some elders feel isolated when you don't involve them in conversations.
- Do get them assistive devices (if needed) so they can walk around the house and yard. Here are some samples of great walkers in the market that is specially designed for their needs:
- Do go out with them on family outings and recreational activities. It would make them feel good and a part of the family---not just someone that needs to be taken cared of.
- Do remove things that pose hazards around the house. Elders are very prone to accidents such as falls.
- Do give them something to do when at home to ease boredom. Knitting, watching movie or simply listening to the radio are simple things they can do.
- Do introduce to them the wonders of technology. Being old doesn't mean that we have to leave them behind and deprive them of the benefits of modern days. You may teach them how to use the computer to communicate with loved ones who are far away, or give them phones for seniors so they could at least call or text old friends. Yes, there are phones that were especially designed for seniors. :)
What are the Don'ts in taking care of the elders?
Basically, the don'ts are just the opposites of what I've listed above. In addition to those, here's the BIG Don't that you should always observe:
Don't make them feel like a burden to your family. Elders are sensitive. They may take it lightly or not. Remember that being old is inevitable. We will all grow old one day. Take care of them like how you would want to be taken cared of if you're in their shoes.
Some people resort to leaving their elderly loved ones to nursing homes when they cannot personally take care of them. They just visit them from time to time. It's not so bad, really, because they are safer and well cared for in a nursing home, than when left in the house alone. But, if you have the time and the means to give them what they need---love, time, care and shelter, there's no reason to send them away. :)