Making the elderly more comfortable

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:56

    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. Dee Marrella, author of “Who Cares: A Loving Guide for Caregivers” spent five years caring for her mother, knows from personal experience what a challenge it is to care for loved ones who are no longer able to care for themselves. They need more time and help with each passing day. “Trying to make a person comfortable — especially an elderly person —can often pose an especially difficult challenge for caregivers,” Marrella says. Here are 10 ways you can make the elderly person in your care feel more special and comfortable: • Purchase a clock with large numerals. Place it where your loved one can see it clearly. • If the person is in a wheelchair or walker, clip a portable digital phone to it. Purchase 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. • Get a bulletin board. Attach recent family pictures to it. • 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. Put it on a station that the person likes to listen to. • Make certain all medicines can be easily opened. Write out, in big letters, the quantities and times each medication must be taken. • Help the person remove facial hair. This is a constant worry. • 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 all day long —not just during anticipated visits. As America’s population continues to age, each day more people take on the difficult task of caring for those they love.