Ageing is a natural thing that we all experience. As adult children, we know that our parents and our older relatives will age, however we might not fully understand what that might actually look like or how it will affect their lives and ours.
The more aware we are of how ageing can affect them, what options are available to them as seniors and us as caring adult children, the better for all involved.
We all want the best for our loved ones, we want them to have a good quality of life. In order for this it is important to care for every aspect of your loved ones well being, this includes emotional, mental and physical well-being.
The Need For A Plan
It can be difficult, overwhelming sometimes when it comes to caring for an older loved one. Their is so much that you need to consider when it comes to care, but with a good thought through plan it can make it a whole lot easier.
A good plan should think about a wide range of life aspects not just what type of care is required. Finances, lifestyle and living arrangements all need to be considered. It is also very worthwhile in explaining and creating the plan with your older loved one so that not only are your needs met but theirs. It is important that they are happy and fully aware of what their plans for the future might look like and then can help in providing peace of mind for your loved one.
Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
ADLs are essential for the emotional and physical well-being of your loved one as they ensure their daily living requirements are met effectively. Some examples of ADLs include; self-feeding, dressing, bathing and hygiene. As our loved ones get older some of these ADLs may become increasingly more challenging or even impossible for them to do them independently. If this becomes the case then you may need to find them appropriate help, whether it’s providing care or investing in technology or equipment which assists them.
Attempt to maintain independence for as long as possible as independence has been linked mental well-being and provides active stimulation.
Instrumental Activities Of Daily Living (IADLs)
IADLs refer to other daily living activities that may not be essential but are important and connected to independent functioning. IADLs most often refer to the following types of activities with long-term care, such as; cooking, cleaning, shopping and errand running.
IADLs are very important to your loved ones well-being, it is vital that these activities are dealt with effectively and consistently. Similar to ADLs it is important that these activities are done whether with assistance by yourself or a carer. If achieving this is difficult or you are struggling to do these consistently there are other sources of help. Technology and community services are often great and effective examples of assistance for these IADLs.
Caring for your older loved one can be tough and stressful. It is important for both you and your loved one however, that you keep stress at a minimum and where possible keep a relaxed, peaceful environment. If you are getting stressed with caring for your loved one it may be worth getting help from either outside carers or look at the options of residential care.