How to support a disabled elderly relative

If you have a relative who is elderly and disabled, they may struggle to perform the basic tasks that are needed in everyday life. It can be hard seeing a relative struggling, and you will want to support them in any way you can. Due to our increasingly aging population, many elderly people are struggling to receive the support they require. Increasing demand means that we need to be more present than ever before. So, how can you support a disabled elderly relative?

 

Legal assistance 

If your relative gained their disability through unfortunate circumstances, they may wish to seek legal assistance. For example, if the disability has developed after serving in the military, they may be entitled to compensation (see these VA compensation rates). Your relative may also be entitled to compensation if they had a slip and fall injury, or gained their disability from the malpractice of a company. If this is the case, you may need to support your elderly relative through this process. This might mean finding them a lawyer, attending meetings on their behalf, or simply letting them know that you’re there if they need you. They may not ask for help, but your support will be appreciated.

 

Check in

Elderly people can often feel isolated and lonely, especially if they live on their own and don’t have someone to talk to regularly. So, it’s important for you to check in on them and provide any emotional support that they might need. This might mean popping round regularly if you can, or contacting them via phone or email. This is especially important when an elderly relative has a disability, because you need to make sure that they are coping and taking any necessary medication.

 

Adjusting their home

When people get older or gain a disability, it’s common for them to need adjustments to their home, so they can navigate around it more easily. For example, if your relative needs a wheelchair, they might need lowered light-switches, wider doorframes and a downstairs bedroom to avoid navigating the stairs at night. Or their home might need a stair-lift to be installed. Whilst there are professionals who will be doing the heavy lifting, it’s important for you to assist with any adaptations your relative might need and help them get the ball rolling. Your relative will probably feel a close connection to their home, and therefore it’s important for you to understand that this may be a difficult time for them.

 

Household tasks

Your elderly relative may also need additional help around the house. What once might have seemed like an easy task could be much harder with a disability. Tasks like cooking, cleaning and even getting dressed could be significantly more difficult. So, you can support your elderly relative by helping them around the house and offering any additional assistance. Even going around once a week to do some cleaning might be a big help. Alternatively, you might need to help organize carers, if this is something they require.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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