12 Ways to Improve the Quality of Life for an Aging Loved One
May 31, 2022
When an aging loved one needs medical care, the focs is often on the quality of the health care that they’re receiving. However, quality of life is just as important. Here are some ways that you can improve the quality of life for an aging loved one.
Focus on Quality of Life
Especially if your loved one requires medical care, it’s easy for quality of life to be considered less of a priority. However, it’s just as important as quality of care. While medical professionals take care of your loved one’s medical needs, you can focus on ways that you can help to improve their quality of life.
Talk to Your Loved One
Most importantly, you should make sure that your elderly loved one is able to do what they want to do. Talk to them to see what could improve in their lives. Any quality of life improvement should be tailored to their needs, wants, and interests. Activities and hobbies are great, but they need to be something your loved one actually enjoys. Ask them what they would like to do or suggest options that you think they would like the most.
Keep in Touch
Staying in regular contact with your aging loved one is one of the best things you can do. Not only is social interaction beneficial for keeping your elderly relatives engaged and happy, it also affords you the opportunity to check in and make sure that everything is going well. If there are any problems with their health care or they need something, you can find out about it right away and help to get everything taken care of promptly.
Get out of the House
Many elderly people who have health problems may not get out of the house as much as they would like to. You can improve your elderly loved one’s quality of life by ensuring that they get out of the house for fun events and not just medical appointments. Organize an outing to somewhere you know your loved one would enjoy. Arrange an activity that you can do together.
As we age, it’s important to have something to do and to have a purpose. For many, that purpose was work or raising children, but in retirement and with their children grown, some may not be sure what they should do with their time. Encourage your elderly loved one to find a hobby that they enjoy. This will improve their daily quality of life by reducing boredom while simultaneously giving them something purposeful to do. It’s even better if the hobby involves socialization.
Spend Some Time Outdoors
Interacting with nature can help to improve quality of life. Many people enjoy gardening because it’s a hobby that is not only outdoors but also offers something beautiful for themselves and others to enjoy. Taking care of living things like plants can be therapeutic and add purpose for many as well.
Keep the Home Organized
There are a lot of things that can be a danger to an aging loved one even at home. Helping your loved one keep everything organized so that they know exactly where everything is and how to navigate their home can help to make the house safer as well as reducing anxiety for your loved one. There are organizational experts specializing in elder care who can look over the home and suggest improvements.
Arrange in-Home Care
Sometimes, our elderly loved ones require more help and care than we can give them. This is when it’s important for a professional to step in. Whether it’s in-home medical care or just assistance with daily tasks, hiring someone to care for your loved one can be a major help. Not only can your elderly loved one stay in their home instead of having to move to a care facility or other senior housing, your relationship with your loved one will improve without the stress of having to care for them. Plus, a professional can do many of those caregiving tasks better than a family member could.
Consult with a Geriatric Care Manager
You want only the best for your elderly loved one, which means that consulting with a professional is a must. A geriatric care manager can assess your loved one’s needs and help you to make sure everything is arranged. This frees up your time so that you can focus on personal interactions with your loved one instead of using up what time you have on care and organization.
Arrange Family Visits
It may be difficult for your elderly loved one to coordinate a family get-together. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to see everyone, however. Taking the initiative and organizing a family get-together can help your loved one engage more frequently with their family.
Look into Elder Care Benefits
It’s important to make sure that you’re taking advantage of all available resources to ensure that your loved one has the best possible quality of life. If there are benefits that they qualify for, make sure to apply, whether this is treatment options, financial assistance, housing, or something else.
Manage Their Finances
Managing finances can be stressful at any age. However, if you help your elderly loved one by taking on some of the financial management and consulting with a financial planner, that can help to alleviate some stress while also ensuring that your loved one’s finances are well-managed.
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