What’s our relationship with the elderly?
10 October 2018 FAMILY
By Zuko Komisa
Growing up, we are taught to never wear hats in the house, to give our seats in all spaces to the elderly, to respect and listen to them, we are given important lessons on respect for our elders.
What is an ideal relationship we should have with the elderly in 2018? How do you plan well for the elderly members of your family? What is the most ideal arrangement for you when it comes to the elderly in your family?
These are important questions to ask yourself considering the fact that the older you grow the older the members of your family are too and the more you have to take care of them.
Caring for the elderly
There is a lot that goes into looking after the elderly, however, it all boils down to ensuring that they are safe and happy. It also involves making sure they are fed, their home is cleaned and maintained, they are transported for errands and activities, their retirement money is well-managed and that their prescribed medications are sufficient.
For the above to happen, it requires your complete commitment to ensure that their golden years are filled with joy and wonderful memories.
We have been faced with confronting the realities of the existence of old age homes. The concept has always been there, however, in many African cultures it has always been the responsibility of the children to look after their parents and older members of the family.
The elders, on the other hand, have always been the go-to people to get counsel, advice, and wisdom.
The reality of old age homes is that it comes across as a place where we throw away walking libraries of stories for the rest of their days. Though it seems like the last resort for many families, it’s important to consider that retirement homes offer comprehensive supervision for all in their care.
There are medical professionals on site and they also ensure that all the elderly’s daily needs are met. While making a decision of how best to look after the elderly in your family, be conscious that not everyone wants to be away from their family, that they might want nothing more than spending their last days with people they love.
When the time comes to look after the elderly in your family, you need to plan ahead. It’s important to involve the whole family in the process to get a complete commitment from all of them.
Important factors to consider:
- The elder you will be looking after has an opinion about how they would like to spend the rest of their years, listen to what they have to say.
- There are generally few medical aids that cover the expense of living in a retirement home.
- Do research on adult activities/programs in your community where they can meet like-minded people.
- Get them active through a volunteering program
- Consider getting additional help from a caregiver