Caring for an elderly loved one with limited mobility .. when to seek care support.

Caring for an elderly loved one with limited mobility .. when to seek care support.

Caring for an elderly loved one with limited mobility requires patience, compassion and a lot of hard work, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding experience. It’s important to remember that you are not alone in this journey and seeking help and support is important. 

Here are a few tips to consider when caring for an elderly loved one with limited mobility:

Assess their mobility needs

Assess your loved one’s mobility needs regularly and make necessary adjustments to their home, such as installing handrails, ramps, and grab bars, to improve their safety and accessibility.

Help with medication management

Help your loved one to manage their medication regimen, by keeping track of their medications, dosage and schedule, and reminding them to take their medication.

Be a companion

Help your loved one to maintain social connections and prevent feelings of isolation by spending time with them, and encouraging them to engage in activities that they enjoy.

Encourage independence

Encourage your loved one to maintain their independence as much as possible, by providing them with the necessary tools and support to perform tasks on their own.

Take advantage of technology

There are many technologies available that can make caring for an elderly loved one with limited mobility easier, such as telehealth, remote monitoring, and assistive devices. Consider researching and implementing these technologies to aid in the care of your loved one.

Be aware of their emotional state

Caring for an elderly loved one with limited mobility can be difficult and stressful, not just for the carer but also for the loved one. It’s important to be aware of the loved one’s emotional state and take steps to prevent depression and anxiety.

Seek professional help

Consult with healthcare professionals such as their GP, primary care physician, physical therapist, and occupational therapist to ensure that your loved one is receiving the appropriate level of care.

Plan for future care

As your loved one’s mobility may decline over time, it is important to plan for future care, such as home care, live-in care to ensure that they will continue to receive the care they need.

Provide emotional support

Caring for a loved one with mobility problems can be emotionally challenging, so it is important to provide emotional support to both your loved one and yourself. Encourage open communication and allow your loved one to express their feelings and concerns. Also, make sure you have a support system in place for yourself, whether it’s through friends, family, or a support group, to help you cope with the emotional challenges of caregiving.

Plan for respite care

Taking care of an elderly loved one with limited mobility can be demanding, so it is important to plan for respite care, where a professional carer will take over for a short period of time, giving you a much-needed break.

What is respite home care? 

Respite home care is a type of short-term care that is provided to individuals in their own homes, typically to give their primary carers a break. The services provided through respite home care can vary depending on the specific needs of the individual and their carers.

In the UK, respite home care can be provided by a variety of different organisations, including local councils, the National Health Service (NHS), and private companies. Local councils may offer respite care services as part of their adult social care services, and the NHS may provide respite care through community health services. Private companies and non-profit organisations may also offer respite home care services.

The services provided through respite home care may include help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and grooming, as well as assistance with medication management, meal preparation, and housekeeping. The care professionals that provide this service are trained and experienced in providing care for people with dementia, disabilities, and other conditions that require assistance.

Respite home care can be a great option for individuals who need extra support on a short-term basis, and for primary carers who need a break. It can also be a good option for those who are recovering from an illness or injury, or for those who are experiencing a temporary increase in care needs due to a change in circumstances.

Signs you may need to consider respite home care

When caring for an elderly loved one with limited mobility, it’s important to know when it’s time to seek respite care. Here are a few signs that it may be time to consider respite care:

Carer burnout

If you are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or experiencing other symptoms of carer burnout, it may be time to seek respite care to give yourself a break.

Difficulty managing daily tasks

If you are struggling to manage the daily tasks of caring for your loved one, such as bathing, dressing, or providing medication, respite care can provide additional support.

Lack of time for self-care

If you are unable to take care of your own needs, such as eating well, sleeping enough, or engaging in activities you enjoy, it may be time to seek respite care.

Difficulty meeting other responsibilities

If caring for your loved one is causing you to neglect other responsibilities, such as work, school, or other family members, respite care can provide relief.

Changes in your loved one’s condition

If your loved one’s condition has changed and you are unable to provide the level of care they need, respite care can provide additional support.

Need for specialised care

If your loved one requires specialised care, such as physiotherapy, wound care or recovering after an operation or a fall respite care can provide the specialised support they need.

What to do when your elderly relative refuses care support

When an elderly relative refuses home care support, it can be challenging to ensure their well-being. Here are a few steps you can take:

  1. Understand the reasons behind their refusal: It’s important to understand the reasons why your loved one is refusing care. They may be concerned about losing their independence or privacy, or they may have had a negative experience with a previous carer.
  2. Communicate openly and respectfully: Have an open and respectful conversation with your loved one about their needs and concerns. Listen to their perspective and try to find a solution that works for both of you.
  3. Involve a healthcare professional: A healthcare professional or social worker can provide additional information and support to both you and your loved one. They can also help assess your loved one’s needs and determine if home care is necessary for their well-being.
  4. Explore other options: There may be alternative options that your loved one is more comfortable with, such as adult day care, telecare systems, transportation services, cleaning services, or home-delivered meals.
  5. Take care of yourself: Caring for an elderly relative can be challenging and emotionally draining. Make sure you take care of yourself and seek support if needed.

Ultimately, it’s important to respect your loved one’s wishes while also ensuring their safety and well-being. You may need to have some difficult conversations and make difficult decisions, but you can do so with compassion and understanding.

Read more: Caring for an elderly parent – How do you approach the difficult conversation?

It’s important to remember that respite care can be a valuable resource for both you and your loved one. It provides a break for the primary carer and ensure that your loved one continues to receive the care they need. Respite care can mean different things to different people. We are happy to simply help around the house or to work with Occupational therapists, nurses, and medical professionals to help you achieve your recovery goals.