In some societies, there are more elderly folks than young ones. Japan is the perfect example. In a study conducted a few years back, it was determined that over 30 percent of the country’s population are made up of people who are over 60 years old. In the UK, meanwhile, about 18 percent of the population are 65 years old and older.
Therefore, it is no surprise that a lot of families have a geriatric family member and they bear the responsibility of caring for him or her.
If you are from such a family and you are firmly committed to helping improve the health of a geriatric loved one, provided below are seven ways to do so.
1. Use VCO (virgin coconut oil) to moisturize the skin, and for other health benefits.
VCO is a natural moisturizer that provides numerous skin benefits. Not only can it ease itchiness and dryness of the skin, but it can also help in the treating cuts and other types of skin irritations or infections.
Those are not all, if you warm VCO, it can serve as a great massage oil for the entire body and increase the relaxation one feels from the strategic manipulation of the muscles and joints.
Taking a spoonful of VCO every day may also be beneficial to health. Some studies show that it can improve cardiovascular health and improve the body’s insulin production to prevent insulin spikes for people with diabetes.
2. Give them a body massage every day.
Massage is a great source of relaxation and it can make everyone, especially the elderly, feel better in a number of ways.
- It can improve their flexibility and strength, which can reduce the likelihood of injuring themselves when moving on their own.
- Massage is also like an assisted workout for old people and can prevent muscles from atrophying.
- Massage enhances circulation. This is particularly important for old people with mobility issues and are at high risk of suffering from a blood clot. Massage helps blood to move and deliver oxygen and nutrients from food to different parts of the body.
- It assists with lymph drainage, which plays an important role in boosting the immune system and making the body less prone to common illnesses.
- It can improve the quality of sleep. Getting enough sleep is vital for the health of the elderly. With sufficient sleep, cells regenerate more efficiently.
To harness the myriad of benefits of massage, you can take up a massage course or class that can teach you how to execute massages correctly for the complete advantage of your patient.
3. Change their clothes often especially if they have mobility issues.
The contact of sweat and skin can lead to skin irritation and other types of discomfort for old people. Changing their clothes a few times a day will help your geriatric loved ones to feel more comfortable, fresh, and confident. Knowing they are clean and fresh can also improve their mood and make them more cheerful and social.
4. Take them to the pool.
Not only is a trip to the pool refreshing for old folks but it will also allow them to get a much-needed workout. If you can find a water therapy or exercise class, sign up for the two (or three) of you.
Water exercises can strengthen the lungs, develop muscles, and improve flexibility. In fact, they are highly recommended for old people who have undergone any type of surgery because the heated water of pools is therapeutic. Plus, the buoyancy allows for a greater range of movements for them because it takes the weight off the bones and joints.
5. Engage them in conversation often.
Social interaction is immensely important for ageing folks, especially for those suffering or recovering from an illness. Verbal exchanges prevent them from retreating into themselves, which can breed feelings of loneliness and unhappiness. At the same time, conversations keep their brain sharp and stimulated. In fact, studies show that elderly people suffering from dementia can benefit greatly from being spoken to often.
When engaging old people in conversation, make sure to bring up topics that interest them — subjects that bring them joy such as the old times or when your family had a fun trip together. Also, ease them into talking. To get them to talk, avoid open-ended questions first. And lastly, focus on them. If you want to share a story, make it brief because unfamiliar information may prove to be confusing for them.
6. Invest in high-quality oral care products.
Old people are quite prone to periodontal disease, which can lead to other health complications and physical discomfort. However, proper oral care can be quite a challenge for old people even if you are already helping them.
To make the task easier for the elderly folk you are taking care of, and you as well, buy top-quality oral care products such as soft electric toothbrushes, air floss, sting-free mouthwash, and special dry mouth toothpaste.
These do not only address the unique oral needs of old people, but they make the oral hygiene process simpler, faster, and overall less physically stressful.
7. Provide them with health supplements.
Antioxidants and immunity supplements can do so much in improving the way old people feel. These can boost their energy and improve their defenses against common pathogens. Likewise, a daily dose of health boosters can help outwork low appetite or irregular eating patterns, which are common among ageing folk.
Care for your elderly loved ones
These are actually just a few ways of caring for your elderly loved ones, but they can make a whole world of difference in their health. Most of these are quite simple to perform that you will have no trouble integrating them into your daily routine.
It is difficult to see the people you love having difficulty moving about because of old age. You may feel also feel tired from serving as one of the primary care providers, but bear in mind that keeping them healthy is a great way to demonstrate your love for them who once loved and cared for you first.