It can be very easy to get caught up in the trials and tribulations of your daily life, and sometimes this can result in forgetting about other people you care about and what might be going on with them.
This doesn’t make you a selfish person, it’s perfectly natural to get distracted with your issues from time to time, but it is important to check in with your loved ones to make sure that they are OK, too.
Senior relatives, in particular, might be facing challenges when it comes to their health, or perhaps they are feeling isolated if they live alone.
They might not be so forthcoming with you about their issues, worried that they will be a burden, but they could need your support. Below are some tips and ideas on how you can make sure your senior relatives are happy and healthy so everyone in your family has peace of mind.
Call Them or Video Chat Regularly
The easiest way to check in on somebody is by giving them a call or arranging a video chat if you would prefer.
Not only is this the ideal way to catch up with loved ones who live far away, but even if you do live in the same town, a quick phone call when you get home from work or during your lunch break can allow you to catch up and make sure everything is OK.
Try to give your senior parents or other relatives a call at least once a week. Even if you just speak for 10 minutes, you’ll still be touching base with them and finding out whether they need anything from you or not.
Visit with Them
If you live close to your senior relative, visiting with them once every week or bi-weekly is also a great way to stay in touch and make sure that they are alright.
You could invite them over for Sunday lunch, or even coffee and cake one afternoon. Going on day excursions with them like a walk in the countryside or another activity that they enjoy is another lovely idea that will help you bond and get everyone out of the house.
If you live some distance from them, you might not be able to visit with them as often, but making the effort to do this a couple of times a year can help them feel loved and is a great way for you all to catch up in person.
For seniors who do live alone, it’s even more prevalent to make this kind of effort so that they have some company and don’t feel forgotten about.
Monitor Changes in Health
For a lot of people, being able to monitor a senior relative’s health closely isn’t always possible, and you shouldn’t baby them, either. However, it is a good idea to pay attention to how your senior relative seems when you next see them.
Have there been any drastic physical changes to their appearance? Do they seem to be getting confused more often now or unable to concentrate on the conversation or tasks they are doing?
Do they appear to be finding things like getting dressed, opening doors, or other tasks physically difficult? It’s not uncommon for senior citizens to deny they are struggling, as it isn’t always easy to admit that you can’t do some of the things you used to, especially if you’re a proud person.
If you do notice any changes that you’re worried about, gently ask them about it and suggest seeing a doctor so that you can get a diagnosis and the correct treatments before anything gets worse.
Understand the Different Care Options Available
Another way to help your senior relatives stay happy and healthy is by familiarizing yourself with the type of care options available.
They might still be able to live independently for now, but if they do begin to struggle you might want to think about hiring a live-in carer or moving them into an assisted living residence so that they have the right support each day.
The latter can provide comfortable private rooms, on-site facilities like gyms and other organized activities, healthy meal preparation, and even day excursions to keep residents active and entertained.
They tend to focus on living wellness and are designed for people who need assistance with basic daily tasks but are otherwise in good health.
If your relative has more advanced healthcare needs, a nursing home might be more appropriate, or a memory care facility if they have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
When you are speaking to your senior relatives about anything from what they did that day to what kind of care they are most comfortable with, it’s important to make sure that you actively listen.
It’s very easy to passively listen to people, especially if you are distracted with other things on your mind or find the conversation a little dull.
However, engaging properly with your senior relatives will make them feel heard and that they are important to you. Try to be aware of this the next time you converse with a senior relative, and this way you’ll also get a better idea of what state of well-being they are in.
If you want to make sure the older generation of your family tree are all happy and healthy relationships, use these tips to help you manage their well-being as best you can.