26 December 2019
Concerns About A Loved One
We all love our relatives, but sometimes as they age, we can’t help but worry about them. When your loved one starts showing signs of distress, unhappiness, or a change in standards of living, it might be time to action some of these worries. Worries can also happen on their end, and it can be important to air these thoughts with them, for everyone’s peace of mind. Here, we go through the different stages of worry, and what can be done at each step to help your loved one and to ease your concerns.
If you’re worried… because your loved one has stopped taking care of themselves
Sometimes, one of our first worries about an elderly relative comes when we notice they may have stopped taking care of themselves as well as they once did. You might start to notice a previously house-proud person has started leaving their washing up, or that someone who always dressed nicely may stop doing so. Sometimes, these worries might be nothing – you’ve probably just caught them on a bad day. However, if these things continue to happen, or worsen (for example, you notice a loved one has stopped bathing or cleaning), it might be time to assess the situation.
The best way to deal with small worries like these are to talk directly to the person. However, as it can be quite an embarrassing topic, begin enquiring gently about whether they need a little extra assistance. You might suggest you or a cleaner help them out once a week, ask whether they might need extra assistance items installed in the bathroom for ease of use, or you can offer to help set up an online food shop that gets delivered weekly. These practical solutions can ease your mind, but also give the extra support to the relative in question, who may be concerned themselves.
If you’re worried… because you feel your loved one is no longer safe
If you are worried a relative might no longer be safe on their own – for example, if their living standards suddenly decline, they can’t or won’t prepare meals themselves, or if they are refusing healthcare – it might be time to action your more serious worries.
In this instance, it might be best to get a neutral perspective on the situation. It can be difficult to talk to your loved one as you’re so close to them – things can become fraught easily, and the last thing you want to do is push your relative away in their time of need. Sometimes, if a situation has worsened dramatically, an older person may not make the best decisions themselves, and a mediator – or someone neutral to the situation – might be best at helping deal with the issues. Speaking to the adult safeguarding team at the local council, talking to a doctor, or consulting an advice service (such as Age UK) can be your best bet. From here, you will be able to receive practical advice, and you will have fewer worries about potential roadblocks you may come across when trying to help.
If you’re worried… about how your loved one might feel about care
Sometimes you have to make hard decisions on behalf of your loved one, and sometimes care is one of these decisions. Your loved one may be resistant to the idea at first, however there are many things you can do to ease their anxieties over care.
The best thing to do is to visit many care homes together, so that your loved one can see their options first-hand. Many care homes allow a ‘taster’ day so that your loved one can experience a day there before committing. Hallmark Care Homes help pair your relative up with people with similar interests and hobbies, to ease the friend making process. Hallmark also encourages frequent visits, personalisation of your relative’s living space, and a continuation of their daily routines, habits and activities, so that life in a care home is an easy transition for your loved one. This helps to quash any worries both you and your loved one may have.
If you do have any worries at all about a loved one, the care home process, or anything about Hallmark Care Homes, please feel free to get in touch.