Ten Ways to Comfort a Senior in Need

(FeatureSource) If you are caring for an elderly relative or friend, you’re not alone. More than 22 million adults provide caregiving services in America today. About two-thirds of those requiring care are over 75 years old.
    “As we age, our needs change,” says Dee Marrella, author of “Who Cares: A Loving Guide for Caregivers” (DC Press, www.FocusOnEthics.com). “With people living longer and living with disabilities, caregiving is a growing necessity. Steps you take now can help or hurt the long-term care you receive.” Additionally, if you are caring for an aging parent or relative, the sooner you talk to them about their needs the better.
    Marrella, who spent five years caring for her aging mother, knows that providing care to loved ones who are no longer able to care for themselves can be a challenge. “It may seem like they need more help with each passing day. However, each day can be an opportunity to create more pleasant surroundings and a more fulfilling life,” states an encouraging Marrella.
   Making an elderly person comfortable does not have to present a difficult challenge for caregivers. Preparation is key. Marrella’s book, "Who Cares: A Loving Guide for Caregivers," provides a detailed guideline in an easy-to-complete journal format. The book is most helpful when you’re still a healthy, alert individual by prompting you to communicate your wishes to your future caregiver. If you’re currently caring for a senior, immediately begin asking them questions: What do you like for dinner? What music do you prefer to listen to in the morning? Even ask where they keep important documents like birth certificates, credit card agreements, insurance policies and other financial records.
    Marrella also shares ways to make an elderly person in your care feel more special and comfortable:
    * Purchase a clock with large numerals, and place it where it is easy to see.
   * If the person is in a wheelchair or uses a walker, clip a portable phone to it. Choose a phone that has one-button dialing for often-used numbers.
   * Buy a calendar with large squares. Fill in important family dates, such as birthdays and anniversaries.
   * Leave a few dollars so the person can order pizza or other treats. But be aware of other friends and caregivers. In the wrong hands, this money can disappear quickly.
   * Attach recent family pictures to a bulletin board.
   * Frame and hang a picture of the person over his or her bed. A picture taken when the person was young and vibrant is best.
   * Get a radio and tune it to a station that the person likes.
   * Make certain all medicine can be easily opened.
   * In big letters, write out the quantities and times each medication must be taken.
   * Help the person remove facial hair.
  *  If your loved one is in a nursing home, visit at different times. This way you can make sure the person receives consistent proper care, not just during anticipated visits.
    As our population continues to age, people realize the growing need to provide special care for someone they love. “As busy adults, we don’t take time to think about the people who will care for us when we need it,” Marrella says. “A few thoughtful moments now will eliminate unnecessary frustration for the loved ones who may some day take care of you.”
    For more information on caring for your loved ones, email dmarrella@yahoo.com and receive the free report "Top 10 Priorities of Caregivers." Or pick up a copy of Who Cares: A Loving Guide for Caregivers by visiting www.FocusOnEthics.com, calling (610) 288-5800.
Author:  Dee Marrella

   
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