As you will know we are all living longer and longer thanks to better living conditions and medical interventions. For most of us, this is great news – everyone wants to live a long and happy life, but what comes with the achievement of old age is challenges, particularly as our society learns to adapt to elderly people being a part of the world we live in, for longer.
For many of us, we won’t notice this until we see it happen to a loved one or we begin to experience it ourselves. In this article, we’d like to help you spot some of the challenges elderly people might be facing and see if you can find ways to help them.
The fast pace of technology
We can all see what happens here. Our technology is advancing at the fastest rate it has ever done, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. Many elderly people simply cannot keep up and when things change or update, often within 12 months of the first innovation, this can leave people feeling scared, left behind and downright bewildering.
Some common issues are using a mobile phone, the internet, online banking and of course, WIFI.
Try to help where you can with clear and easy instructions, or even relieve them from the pressure and just do what they need for them. They will be eternally grateful.
Lack of self-esteem
An elderly person can often start to feel like they have lost their sense of purpose. They aren’t needed as much as before, perhaps illness or age is stopping them from doing as much or getting out and this can significantly affect self-esteem.
Try encouraging them to be social, involve them more, get them out and about, ask their advice on things and embrace things that they are good at and utilise them. Social events can really help them to keep a sense of identity and boost self-esteem but also tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience they have, which is so vital for the development of society.
Dealing with finances
While we are now living longer, the world of work and the retirement plans we made have not evolved at the same pace. Many elderly people are more than capable to continue work and wish to keep going well after the standard retirement age, but, sadly, the job opportunities are not always there. Many need to work because the money they have is not quite enough, but they face challenges getting hired.
If this is something they still want to do, try to encourage them and help them to find work they can do. Lots of companies now actively look to recruit older people because of their vast experiences and freedom of working hours. Many supermarkets have been great at harnessing this potentially great addition to the workforce.
Getting access to health services
Getting access to the right care can become hard and a little disjointed for elderly people. Appointments moving online, fewer local surgeries and longer waiting times for face-to-face appointments can all be hard to adjust to.
Try to join them if you can on visits to be the extra support they might need and try to be patient with them as the world operates very differently now than it did 30 years ago.
An elderly person’s mobility will naturally decline as they age, which often makes everyday tasks harder and more frustrating.
This can affect wellbeing, and ability to work, socialise or travel and can often lead to isolation.
You can help here by assisting where you can, taking advantage of the hundreds of amazing gadgets designed to help this age group or even looking to supply some support through a homecare visit or even live-in care.
Finding the right home care
When it comes to the time that homecare or live-in care support is needed it’s important to help them find the right care, from the right provider.
Families can of course help out, but bear in mind the enormous strain this can have as most people are already working hard to sustain their own lives, in the fast-paced world we now live in.
Always do your research, as there are many factors to consider when choosing a provider. We always recommend looking at reviews, awards, and CQC ratings and spending time talking to them about personalising the care you wish to arrange. You can find out more about how we do this here: https://carefour.co.uk/
Getting affairs in order
At some point, we will all need to prepare for the inevitable but talking about or planning for death is often a complex topic for people to face.
Elderly individuals and their families need support when considering the end-of-life options available, financial implications, and how to ensure that the individual’s wishes are respected.
We always suggest organising a face-to-face appointment, with someone who you have screened previously on the phone to see if they display patience, empathy and consideration while explaining such an uncomfortable topic. Try asking around for recommendations from others who have been through something similar,
If anything in this article has inspired you to get in touch then feel free to drop us a line to find out more about our Homecare and 24-hour Live-in Care services we deliver across the Midlands and Oxfordshire.