Elderly people need to feel secure and safe and remain close to their family and friends. They also need to find meaning in their lives and feel that they are a part of the active society. This is very difficult for some of them, who have lost their physical strength and are dependent on others for their basic requirements. Such elderly people need extra empathy and emotional care. You need to keep in mind that if their emotional needs are not met then they may go into depression.
Emotional problems they face
If their emotional needs are not met with, they may lose their appetite, have difficulty sleeping or face an inability to concentrate. Senior citizens face problems of vulnerability, loneliness, boredom, and isolation. In such situations, it is necessary to spend time with them and alleviate their negative feelings. However, the lifestyles of modern times are such that the families of elderly people are not able to give them the right care and emotional support that they require. This is where external help from agencies that provide home-based care for elderly people to come into the picture.
How hiring professionals can help?
If you feel that you are not able to provide emotional care and support to the senior citizen in your family then it is time to look for outside help. This problem was already prevalent in western countries and now has become a challenge in India as well. Even in India, there are the professional and social obligations that families have to fulfill which gives them little time to take care of the senior citizens in their family. This is the reason that they hire professional help to take care of them. Such professional help should be taken from a reliable source. The people providing the care should not only be trained to take care of the senior citizen in a physical manner but should also care for their emotional needs. We need to understand the basic emotional requirements of elderly people so that we can care for them properly.
Emotional needs of an elderly person
If the routine of your household is such that the elderly person in your family is alone for a large part of the day, then he or she may feel unsafe. There may be an emergency with their health and they could be worried about it. In this situation, you need to ensure that they have access to you or some other reliable person on the phone. Ideally, you should appoint a caretaker who will be with the elderly person during the time that you are absent from your home. These caretakers apart from ensuring the physical safety of the elderly person should also cater to their emotional requirements.
For instance, they could read out to them, talk to them in a personal manner or keep them engaged in some way. This will ensure that the senior citizen does not feel left out and isolated even though you may not be able to spend that much time with them during the day. The caretaker should be well trained in catering to the requirements of the elderly and should be aware of their diet, medicines, etc. Appointing a caretaker in your absence will ensure that the elderly person is eating properly, taking medicines on time, is entertained in some way and does not feel neglected or isolated.
All in all, you should consider the elderly people in your family as active members of the family and not as someone to be sidelined in your hectic daily schedule. You should remember that you will also be in that situation someday and you are creating an example for your kid, who will someday care for you in the way that you are caring for the elderly person in your family.