5 Ways Southern Families Can Ensure Excellent Care for an Aging Relative
The Southern way of life, when you’re doing it right, is gentile and tranquil. It’s a certain attitude, the way no one seems to be in a hurry in either their speech or mannerisms.
You can often tell a Southern gentleman or lady even when they’re out of their element. They lend class and dignity to any gathering, and you would be proud to call them friends.
When it comes to the older Southern generation, families want more than anything to take care of their relations. That is why you often see grandparents and older aunts or uncles living with a family until the end of their days.
Still, if you come from the Southern tradition, then you might want some tips on care for your aging relative. Here are a few that should point you in the right direction.
If You Choose an Assisted Living Facility, Do So Carefully
Assisted living facilities or nursing homes help older adults in many ways. They can:
- Remind them when to take their pills
- Interact with them, so they stay mentally sharp, and their acuity doesn’t deteriorate
- Schedule activities for them that they’ll enjoy
Many older Southern adults don’t mind moving into such a facility at all. They can interact with some others their age who might share similar memories with theirs.
Still, it’s undeniable that there are some homes that do not take care of the residents. That’s why you should do careful research before choosing a facility for your aging parent, grandparent or another relative. You do not want to have to call a South Carolina nursing home abuse attorney because something is amiss.
Make Sure the Facility is Taking COVID-19 Precautions
Southern pockets are being hit hard by the coronavirus, and that’s probably going to continue for quite some time. The virus is hitting nursing homes and assisted living facilities because:
- There are many immunocompromised residents
- Some residents don’t fully understand the danger extent or severity
- Some workers at these facilities don’t take what’s happening as seriously as they should
What is happening right now is unprecedented, with more than 100,000 U.S. citizens dead and the number rising every day. Some states refuse to take the proper precautions and are reopening despite the rise in new infections.
It can be a catastrophe if COVID-19 gets into an older adult care facility. The residents might not have masks cleaning products or the mental faculties to watch out for themselves.
Southern residents who secured a spot in an assisted living facility for an older relative need to check on them often to make sure they’re OK. Now is not the time to forget about them. They’re relying on you to keep them safe.
Listen to Their Input
Listening and having serious conversations with your older relative about what they want for themselves can be very beneficial. A few Southerners might try to treat their older relatives like infants, but most will teat them with the respect they deserve.
Unless your relative has lost complete faculty control, you should ask them what they want and where they wish to live. If they want very much to stay in their home, then there might be a way to make that happen.
If they have reduced mobility, then the answer might be to retrofit their home with safety rails and ramps. You might also set up a system where you and other relatives stop by every other day or so to check up on them. Don’t assume that you have to take control and stick your older relative in a facility if it’s something they strongly oppose.
Consider a Live-In Nurse
There is a long Southern tradition, and elsewhere as well, of getting live-in nurses or home health aides for older relatives. If they have retirement savings, then they can pay for this sort of help out of there.
You’ll want to work with your older relative to find a live-in nurse or caretaker who has excellent credentials. You should look into their background and find out all you can about them.
Interview them with your relative present. They should have a say in who takes care of them. If they have an aversion to someone, then find a more suitable candidate.
Even if your older relative can’t afford someone to live with them, someone who comes by for a few hours each day is better than no one. Someone to help cook, clean the house, bathe your relative, talk/bond to them, etc. may be just what they need.
Help Them Stay Young at Heart
You might get your household members together and decide that it would be best for your aging relative to stay with you. Southern tradition also dictates that you should treat older adults reverently.
If you have children in the home, then it would be a privilege for them to grow up with an informative person nearby who has had a long life and has many lessons to impart. Your older relative doubtless has seen much, and they can bestow life lessons on younger generations.
It also helps older people to be around younger ones. It keeps their minds sharp to be close to youth and is a way to keep them young at heart.
Older relatives are treasures in the Southern tradition. You should never cast them aside. Listen to them and learn from them.
They can share their favorite recipes with you and their memories of times long past. They come from a different time, and they are living information repositories. You should appreciate them and teach your children to do the same.
Whatever you decide for your older relatives, prioritize their happiness. They have experienced history, and they deserve final years where peace and contentment surround them. You will feel good about yourself for being able to give them that—and your family will as well.