Circle of Life: Caring For Those Who Once Cared For Us

Not everyone is lucky enough to grow old, but those who do can find it increasingly difficult without the right help. Health problems increase, our bodies become more frail and we can slow down both mentally and physically which can be incredibly difficult. However that's not to say we can't be happy and healthy in the winter of our lives, often just a bit of extra support is needed. If you're currently taking care of elderly loved ones, here are a few things to bear in mind.

Keep Them Socially Connected
One of the worst parts about growing older is that people can become more isolated. When you're not as mobile as you once were or are no longer able to drive, getting out and about can be more difficult. Making time for your elderly loved ones will give them a far better quality of life, you could take them out once or twice a week. The Salvation Army organise a lot of events aimed at the older members of our society, so it’s always good to keep up to date with organisations like this to see when the next event is. Another thing you could do is to set them up with a smartphone, tablet or computer and teach them how to use social media and Skype. That way they can keep in contact far more easily and it prevents them from feeling quite so disconnected. 

Get Them Exercising
Exercising is very important as you grow older. As we age, our bones lose more cells than the body can replace meaning they get weaker and brittle, and can lead to conditions like osteoperosis. Exercise helps to slow down this loss, along with a healthy diet. Stronger bones means there's less chance of them breaking due to a slip or fall, and since many elderly people who break a hip never recover and die in hospital, it's something to take very seriously. Plus exercise prevents muscle wastage and promotes mood and wellbeing too. Age UK has good suggestions for different types of exercises classes that should be taken. Swimming, gentle walking and yoga for seniors are all great, low impact choices that are useful for those with joint or muscle issues. 

Know When To Get Professional Help
Medical conditions are more likely to set in during later life, and most of us don't have the knowledge or equipment to deal with these forms of illnesses. Some of these can be life threatening, so it’s very important to know when to look for help and where to look for it. There are many options available for help, but your first port of call should always be from your GP. The NHS is very good at pointing you in the right direction to get help, you can use the website or call 111 for specific advice if you're unsure if a doctor is needed. There are specialist care providers out there too, such as Porthaven dementia care homes that specialise in care for those with dementia. Something like this would give you peace of mind that your loved one was being looked after properly around the clock if this is something you're not able to commit to doing. Having a job, family and other responsibilities can take up a lot of time, not everyone is in a position to become a full time carer. 

It can be a difficult time caring for those who once cared for us. Make sure your elderly loved ones get the right care for them allowing them to live the winter of their lives with dignity and respect. 

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