Caring for an aged loved one is both rewarding but can be time consuming.
We love our relatives unconditionally, so making sure they are as happy and comfortable as possible every day is the ultimate goal. That’s why, when a relative has a fall or other serious injury, it’s difficult to see.
We want to help them and get them back to a healthy state as quickly as possible, but this a hard-going task and we can’t always do it alone. Finding ways to aid your loved one during their recovery time is entirely possible and being responsible for that transition is often within your reach if you know what to do.
This can sometimes mean arranging respite care for them and allowing professionals to start and maintain the process for a while. Additional things to consider when caring for an elderly relative after an accident, are outlined below.
Respite care is often a good choice for this kind of situation. Some people feel guilty about this and see it as taking the easy way out, or making your relative “someone else’s problem”, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Your relative loves you, and your involvement in the rehabilitation is key in the recovery process. Respite care can take place in your home, your relative’s home, or at a facility built specially for such care depending on their needs and preferences.
Sometimes, all your loved one needs is some help with their usual daily tasks, or a reassuring presence when moving around by themselves again, in which case respite care in the home is well suited to their needs. However, this does not mean that in-home care is not a good choice for someone with more advanced needs.
Other times, a relative will need help eating and drinking, as well as with general mobility.
In these cases, in-house respite care could be an attractive option. The ultimate goal of respite care is the same as yours – to ensure your loved one is as happy and healthy as possible, which makes working with a care worker easier than first perceived for some.
An aged person who has had a fall is significantly more likely to have subsequent falls in the future. Additionally, in many cases, their mental health and confidence can be severely affected.
Falling a short distance and seriously injuring themselves can be a jarring experience because, more often than not, the fall distance is not something that they believed could injure them as much as it has, leading to feelings of anxiety and depression in the aftermath. It is important to understand these feelings and work to slowly dissipate them, while reassuring your loved one wherever possible.
Finally, empathy is important when trying to help and understand a loved one’s feelings.
The fear experienced when a comfortable and familiar place, like a kitchen or a bedroom, suddenly becomes the scene of a fall or other serious accident cannot be understated. Many times, this fear can be misinterpreted as being irrational or can cause frustration, as the house hasn’t changed noticeably to you.
What is most important in these scenarios is to continue to support and reassure your loved one, and to not dismiss their fear. Coming to terms with and subsequently overcoming their fear is one of the few ways they can truly regain their confidence and a measure of independence after such an incident.
Taking care of a relative after an incident is important, and doing what’s best for them is even more important. Find out what you need to know to be the best carer you can be, and ensure your loved one is as happy and healthy as possible, as soon as you can.