By March 10, 2014 Read More →

Different levels of care for elderly relatives

Care for elderly relativesWorking from home can alleviate pressure for those who need to care for elderly relatives.

Today’s sponsored post by Balcombe Care Homes takes a look at the types of care typically needed by the older generation.

Caring can come in many different forms. The first level of care for elderly relatives is usually for a younger, trusted family member to take over the day-to-day household management and payment of bills.

There are so many aspects to modern life that we take for granted and that we can perform with ease. However, this is often not the case for people in the older generation. Many elderly people have no experience of computers or mobile communications.

The way we pay bills, shop and communicate have changed so much, and older people often find this daunting and confusing. The automated options used by all utility companies and banks are irritating to us, but impossible to follow for those who are hard of hearing or need a little extra time to follow instructions.

If carers have to take care of all of the business and administration affairs for their elderly relatives as well as their own, it can become very time-consuming and tiring. A Daily Telegraph article recently reported that banks and building societies have not been training staff properly in the handling of Power of Attorney.

This has resulted in staff requesting conflicting information and has prevented families opening accounts for elderly relatives. The frustration of trying to deal with this kind of bureaucratic dead end inevitably spills over into the carer’s personal and work life.

If you are caring for somebody who has physical disabilities or who is limited by illness, you may have a lot of duties that can be very tiring and physically demanding. Even if a carer is employed to regularly help your relative, relieving you of the need to be constantly present, there is still psychological stress to deal with.

Relatives often talk of dreading the phone ringing at the time the carers go in, knowing that it means there is a problem. As one carer said, ‘The phone ringing first thing in the morning could mean that my mother is being rushed to hospital again, or it could just mean her kettle has broken. Whatever it turns out to be, it’s not a very peaceful way to start the day.’

Caring for somebody who has emotional difficulties or mental health problems can be very difficult and demanding in another sense. It can be very upsetting and frustrating to be caring for a loved one who is often in distress. It is important that carers try to seek support or advice for themselves in order to be able to cope with such a demanding role.

Social contact outside the home

A serious challenge faced by those providing care for elderly relatives is proper social contact with world outside the home. If a carer opts for home working, this may exacerbate the problem. It is important for both the carer and the person being cared for to engage in social activities which will impact positively on mood and outlook.

There are schemes in some communities that arrange for people to visit those who are housebound to at least share a chat and a cup of tea. At the same time, carers can sometimes enjoy a break from the constant caring responsibilities.

Has your life been affected by needing to care for elderly relatives? Whether it has meant giving up your career or making time to visit older neighbours or members of your family, we’d like to hear about your experiences.

Posted in: Family

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