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How You Can Help an Elderly Relative in Their Later Years

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Age isn’t often an easy thing to talk about, especially if the discussion is with a loved one who is in their older years. It can be emotional, distressing and complicated, often making it easier not to talk about it at all. However, this doesn’t have to be the case, and from the perspective of your elderly relative, having somebody to talk to about what they’re experiencing can be a huge comfort. Finding these moments when you can provide some calming relief to your loved one is always a pleasant feeling and around this time of people’s lives it can be nice to know that you can be of help.

Life is rarely quiet, you’ll often find yourself busy with your own problems, making finding the time for other people a bit more difficult than it has to be. It doesn’t always take long to find the time, it can be as simple as a single conversation – there is always something you can do to help them in some way. That said, it isn’t often obvious when these moments arise and if you’re trying to change how frequently you engage with these opportunities then it can be helpful to know what to look for.

The Power of a Simple Conversation

It might be that you live with the relative in question, or you see them regularly, in which case you might feel as though this doesn’t apply due to how much time you naturally spend with them. This could well be true, but spending a lot of time with someone doesn’t necessarily equate to quality time. If the two of you aren’t ones to usually engage in conversation about emotional issues then it can be difficult for either side to really break that trend and start one for the first time. This might make it difficult to navigate but there are simple ways you can stay on track, such as having a clear and concise goal in mind for when you start the conversation. Additionally, it’s important that you actually listen to what the other party has to say, instead of feeling what you have to say is the only important thing that needs hearing.

The conversations you have with them don’t have to be serious, however, sometimes it’s just nice to have company and talk about nothing in particular. Especially if you don’t already live with them or see them regularly, the effort made to cross that distance barrier and have a conversation can go a long way. This might also help you to deepen the bond between the two of you that has been left to go dormant in recent times. Although you might be reaching out to talk to your relative out of concern for them, you might find yourself benefitting from it as well before too long.

Knowing How to Take Care of Them

This can be a much more emotionally strenuous conversation, not only with your loved one themselves but also with yourself and your family. Though you’ll always do what you can and likely want your relative to be able to live on their own terms, there may come a time when this isn’t realistic or even possible. In this case, even though you might have the best of intentions at heart in wanting to continue to care for them yourself, it might be time for you to consider other options. These options might include helping them to move into an assisted living residence where they can be taken care of by professionals but also somewhere they can relax and be comfortable.

If you decide to go down this route, there are obviously myriad considerations you’ll have to think about. First of all you’ll likely be working with your family and your relative themselves to find a place where they think they’ll be happy, above all else. Secondly, while doing research you’ll likely want to look for a place that’s known for its quality of care, as that’s one of the primary reasons behind the initial decision. Bay Pointe offers the best assisted and independent living Bremerton has to offer and is known for its meticulous approach towards quality care, ensuring that it’s not only a place the residents are taken care of but also a place where they can be happy.

Helping Your Relative Keep Up with What They Enjoy

Everybody has hobbies. As time goes on, people might abandon old ones and pick up new ones, but there’s always going to be something that they like to do to unwind. As people get older and they find themselves slightly less nimble, it can become harder for them to do these small things that they enjoy – especially if what that hobby entails is more physical in nature. Similar to how simply having a conversation with your relative can help them feel heard through just having company, sharing something that they enjoy can work as a bonding experience and it’s always more fun to do something you love with someone else. It may also be the case that your relative doesn’t have any hobbies that they’re currently engaged with, in which case you can help them find new ones. In this case, since the hobby would have sprouted from your shared time together, it will have more sentimental value to them and could help bring you closer together.

Although it’s something that very much depends on the health of your relative, volunteering can be something that resonates with older people. It’s something that can give the volunteer a sense of purpose, and the act of getting involved serves as a worthy endeavor in their time.

Additionally, volunteering can also serve as a way to boost confidence, as well as build social ties by being part of a wider community. Each of these things can combat feelings of diminishing confidence and loneliness, feelings that can become prevalent in older age depending on your circumstances. Nobody likes to feel like they’re just waiting to pass the time, so getting involved in something bigger like this can do wonders for someone’s mental health.


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