Caregivers and families play a vital role in enhancing the quality of life for older adults by promoting active ageing. Their support and encouragement can contribute to maintaining independence, physical and mental well-being, and a fulfilling life as one ages.
Understanding the needs of older adults
The general needs of the elderly are categorised into:
- Physical needs
- Mental and emotional needs
- Social needs
The article will further break down these three important needs of senior adults and provide a deeper understanding of how Fei Yue Active Ageing Centres can help.
Physical needs of the elderly
Supporting the physical needs of seniors can help them stay healthy and independent. By providing assistance with mobility, personal care, safety and nutrition, family members can help seniors live in their own homes and communities for longer. This can lead to a better quality of life for seniors, caregivers and family members, as they can maintain their independence and social connections.
Providing Practical Support for Seniors
As we age, it can become more difficult to complete everyday activities, manage our finances and medical care, and arrange transportation and appointments. Without practical support, this can lead to isolation, loneliness, and a decline in quality of life.
There are a number of ways to provide practical support for seniors and help them maintain their independence and well-being. There are many ways to help seniors with daily activities, such as:
- Music and dance: Music and dance can be a great way to help seniors stay active and engaged. Encourage them to participate in musical activities, such as joining a choir or dance class. Dance schools like the Dancesport Academy offering free weekly classes for those 55 and older to try out this new hobby.
- House chores: House chores can become more difficult for seniors as they age. Offer to help with tasks such as cleaning, cooking, or doing the laundry.
- Transportation: Seniors may need help getting to and from appointments, social events, and other activities. Offer to drive them or help them arrange other transportation options.
There is also home care support available to help these seniors with their day-to-day activities.
Managing finances and medical care can become more complex for seniors as we age. Here are some ways to simplify how you can manage them:
Finances: Help seniors with tasks such as bill paying, budgeting, and managing their investments. You can also help them apply for government benefits or other financial assistance programmes.
Medical care: Help seniors to schedule and attend appointments, keep track of their medications, and understand their treatment plans. You can also advocate for them with their healthcare providers.
Arranging transportation and appointments
Transportation and getting to appointments can be a challenge for seniors, especially those who live in rural areas or have limited mobility. Here are some ways to help:
Transportation: Arrange transportation for seniors to and from appointments, social events, and other activities. This could involve driving them yourself, scheduling a taxi or ride-sharing service, or helping them to use public transportation.
Transportation services like My Singapore Driver Elderly Transport can provide specialised drivers that cater to the needs of seniors, including those with mobility constrictions.
Appointments: Help seniors schedule and attend appointments. This could involve calling the doctor’s office to make the appointment, reminding them of the appointment, and accompanying them to the appointment.
To understand further how to effectively meet the needs of seniors as a caregiver, you can find out more about the activities hosted by Fei Yue’s active ageing centre here.
Mental and emotional needs of the elderly
Supporting the mental and emotional needs of seniors can help them cope with the challenges of ageing. Seniors may face a number of challenges, such as the loss of loved ones, health problems, and cognitive decline. Family members can provide emotional support by listening to seniors’ concerns, offering advice and encouragement, and celebrating their accomplishments. This support can help seniors feel loved and valued, and it can also help them cope with the challenges of ageing.
Providing Emotional Support to the Elderly
Emotional support is just as important as physical support for the elderly. As people age, they may experience a number of changes and challenges, such as:
- Loss of loved ones
- Health problems
- Social isolation
- Cognitive decline
These changes can lead to feelings of sadness, loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Emotional support can help seniors cope with these challenges and live happy and fulfilling lives.
There are a number of ways to provide emotional support to the elderly:
Be a listening ear
One of the best things you can do for an elderly loved one is to simply listen to them. Let them know that you are there for them and that you care about what they have to say. Avoid judging them or offering unsolicited advice. Just listen and let them know that you understand what they might be going through.
If you are unable to provide a listening ear to these elderly, there is a helpline from Support Go Where, which provides a toll-free channel to support the seniors, their family members and caregivers by providing listening ears to them and addressing their concerns and needs.
There are also supports available for caregivers with high levels of stress through counselling and support groups organised by Fei Yue’s Caregiver Support and Respite Services.
Offer help and encouragement
Seniors may need help and encouragement with a variety of tasks and activities. Offer to help them with things like running errands, cooking meals, or getting around. You can also encourage them to stay active and engaged in activities that they enjoy.
Celebrate successes together
It is important to celebrate the successes of seniors, no matter how small they may seem. This could involve anything from completing a household chore to learning a new skill. Celebrating successes can help seniors feel good about themselves and maintain a positive outlook on life.
Social needs of seniors
Supporting the social needs of seniors can help them stay connected to their loved ones and their community. Seniors who are socially isolated are at increased risk for loneliness, depression, and other health problems. Family members can help seniors stay socially connected by encouraging them to socialise with friends and family members and by helping them participate in social activities. This social support can help seniors stay healthy and happy.
In addition to these benefits, supporting the needs of seniors can also strengthen family relationships. When family members work together to support a senior loved one, it can create a sense of unity and purpose. This can lead to closer relationships and a more supportive family unit.
By providing support, family members can help seniors live healthy, happy, and independent lives.
Creating a supportive environment for the elderly
Having a supportive environment can help strengthen family relationships. When family members work together to support a senior loved one, it can create a sense of unity and purpose. This can lead to closer relationships and a more supportive family unit.
Support for caregivers
Caregivers play an essential role in supporting the elderly. They provide practical and emotional support, helping seniors maintain their independence and live happy and fulfilling lives.
Caregivers can also access a number of resources to help them in their role. These resources include:
- Government agencies: Government agencies offer a variety of support services for caregivers, such as financial assistance, respite care, and training programmes.
- Non-profit organisations: There are a number of non-profit organisations that provide support services for caregivers. These organisations can offer advice, counselling, and support groups.
- Online resources: There are a number of online resources that can provide caregivers with information and support. These resources include websites, blogs, and social media groups.
On top of the things that would support the seniors, be it physically, socially or emotionally, there are a few tips to keep in mind while providing care to them.
- Be patient, as these seniors may need more time to complete tasks or may need assistance with tasks that they used to do easily or process their thoughts.
- Be supportive and encouraging. Let seniors know that you are there to help them and that you believe in them.
- Be flexible and adaptable. Things can change quickly for seniors, so be prepared to adjust your support plans as needed.
Be positive and encouraging. Help seniors to focus on the positive aspects of their lives.
- Spend time with them. One of the best ways to show seniors that you care is to simply spend time with them. Talk to them, listen to them, and enjoy their company.
Active Ageing Centre in Fei Yue Community Services
The Active Ageing Centre in Fei Yue Community Services provides a number of programmes and services for seniors and their caregivers. These programmes and services include:
- Social and recreational activities
- Educational programmes
- Health and wellness programmes
- Support groups for caregivers
The Active Ageing Centre also provides a number of resources for caregivers, such as information on government and non-profit organisation support services and online resources.
If you are a caregiver, please know that you are not alone. There are a number of resources available to help you in your role, including caregiver support and respite services available at Fei Yue Community Services.