Friday, 21 June 2019

Looking After Your Elderly Neighbours And Relatives In The Summer

I have written before about how to look after your elderly neighbours in the winter and to keep them warm but the summer can be just as hard on them because they cannot cope with the heat and often end up dehydrated or overheating. If they have an underlying medical problem, then it can be made even worse. It's not only that but the elderly neighbours like to go outside in the summer and if their mobility isn't as good as it has been in the past, then they will struggle to get out of the front door. This leaves them feeling isolated and lonely.

Offer To Tidy Their Garden

Everybody likes a nice place to go in the summer and our gardens are our sanctuaries. But often elderly people cannot get out into their garden to make it a nice place to be in the summer. Weeding and gardening come too much for some of the older generations and they need a little help but maybe can't afford a gardener. Why not offer to get out there and trim shrubs back and put some colourful flowers in the flower beds. If their garden furniture needs painting, then offer to do that for them. It will be a lot of hard work, but it will make a difference to someone.



Make Sure They Have Plenty To Drink 

If your elderly neighbour or relative struggles to get around the house or they are confined to their bed, make sure they have a drink by the side of them, this will ensure they don't dehydrate. This could be a jug with an iced drink or a cup of juice (with a lid on to stop flies and wasps going in it). If you buy a cool bag, you could pop some cold drinks in there for them to have by the side of them.

Offer To Open Windows

Make sure they have plenty of fresh air going through the house and that some cool air is blowing through. Windows can make a room hotter because there is no air flow in the room and as the heat comes through the window it has nowhere to go to circulate around the house. It is very easy to overheat in a room with windows closed and as some elderly people don't feel the heat, they can easily become ill.

Take Them Out For A Stroll 

Some elderly people go days without seeing another person, so get them out of the house and go for a stroll or a drive, they often only see the four walls of their house or a quick glance out of the window. This will make their day.



Make Sure They Are Comfortable

There is nothing worse than it being hot and you are feeling really uncomfortable where you are sitting. At least the more mobile of us can get up and walk about or move around to make ourselves comfortable but an elderly person will have trouble even getting up from their chair or out of bed. If they are spending the day in bed, make sure they have appropriate bedding on their bed and they don't get too hot, but leave an extra blanket close to them incase they get cold later. They might benefit from a recliner chair from somewhere like Fenetic Wellbeing, where the chair reclines to help them stand up and sit down.

Reassure Them That You Will Pop Back Later.

Some elderly people worry that you will forget about them as soon as you walk out of the door, but reassure them that you won't forget them and that you will be back later to check up on them or have a cup of tea with them.

Make Them An Honorary Grandparent

My daughter doesn't have any grandparents, so she has grandparents that have chosen to be part of her life. My aunt and uncle are her Nanny and Grandad Camper and a friends mum is called Nanny Hilda. These are people who have chosen to be part of her life and they enrich it for being part of it too. By making someone an honorary grandparent makes them feel special as well as giving kids the chance to have grandparents and it means an elderly person who might not have their own grandchildren will become a grandparent.



Check They Have Enough Food In. 

In a heat wave, it may be too hot for an elderly person to get out of the house and go shopping, so it's just as important to make sure they have enough food in the house as it is when the cold weather is here. Elderly people are often too proud to ask for help so they won't mention if they need something. See if you can sneakily check their fridge and cupboards. Sometimes poverty hits the elderly as much as it does to young families, so see if you can recommend them to the local food bank.

Do you have any elderly neighbours that could do with a little visit or a bit of help around the house?

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