Caring for a Homebound Loved One
If you have experienced caring for a homebound loved one, chances are you understand the difficulty and hardships they may encounter. When an individual is confined to their home, it may be difficult to connect with those who love and care for them.
Through a network of supportive family and friends as well as caregivers and local resources, there are multiple ways to overcome these difficulties. If you are interested in learning different ways to support a homebound loved one and help them stay active and connected to the world around them, here’s how you can.
1. Provide companionship for homebound loved ones.
When an individual is limited to their own home, it is incredibly easy to feel lonely. Loneliness can lead to depression, anxiety, and other physical and mental health concerns. Elder isolation is a serious problem for many older people, especially the homebound face. Spending quality time with your loved one on a regular basis can lift their spirits and keep them feeling connected to those around them.
Quality time is important for homebound seniors.
Spending time with family and friends is good for the health of your homebound loved one. An easy way to help them continue nourishing relationships is to plan small events they are able to attend. If your aging loved one is interested in spending time with others, planning a get-together with a few people they love can leave a positive impact on their overall health.
Offer to help homebound loved ones with household chores.
Simply helping with chores around the house is a great way to provide support to your homebound loved one. For seniors who are homebound due to illnesses or injuries, they may be unable to easily complete small tasks they were once able to accomplish in their homes. For some individuals, this loss of independence can be devastating and instill a sense of helplessness.
It’s important to be delicate in how you approach the topic of providing assistance in this area. Visiting them to offer companionship and helping around the house while you are present can make a huge difference in their wellbeing.
Lift their spirits with a meal or activity they love.
Everyone loves to be remembered. If you are planning a visit to see your homebound loved one, show your love for them by bringing a few of their favorite items. They will likely find joy in your thoughtfulness. Here are a few ways to show your loved one you are thinking of them:
- Bring their favorite food
- Write them a thoughtful card
- Watch their favorite movie with them
- Talk about old memories
- Play cards or board games with them
2. Help manage your loved one’s healthcare needs.
Caring for an older homebound loved one will most likely come with a variety of things to manage regarding their medical needs, including medication refills and prescription pickups, physical therapy, and more.
Make sure they are enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid if applicable.
Finding the perfect healthcare plan can be a frustrating process. Depending on the specific needs of your loved one, it’s important for them to apply for Medicare in order to receive the benefits they deserve. Although the process of applying for Medicare and Medicaid can become overwhelming, our team at CareLink is willing and able to help you begin and go through the entire process.
Invest in a medical alert system.
With a variety of advanced medical technology, your loved one has the ability to contact medical services with the simple push of a button. In addition to peace of mind for you and your relatives, an emergency response button can also provide peace of mind for your homebound loved one. CareLink’s Information & Assistance department has information readily available regarding the various forms of emergency response buttons and providers.
3. Encourage your loved one to practice self-care.
Self-care and healthy habits play a significant role in our overall health. When homebound, your loved one may feel discouraged to keep up with their daily health routines. However, encouraging them to practice self-care is essential to their wellbeing.
Encourage movement and exercise.
Even if your loved one is homebound, it’s still important to stay as physically active as possible. It’s also important to keep in mind that homebound seniors can be seriously injured if they do not follow proper precautions. Working with a physician and/or physical therapist to determine which exercises are safe for your loved one is the safest solution for preventing injury while exercising for homebound older people. CareLink partners with senior centers and community centers to offer fitness classes to older people that improve balance, upper body strength, and more. Many offer transportation options for the homebound.
Encourage healthy sleep habits.
As our loved ones age, especially after retiring from the workforce, sleep begins to suffer even more than it might have. Adults require 7-9 hours of sleep so their mind and body can replenish and recover. Research has shown a link between lack of sleep and high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, depression, and more. Getting enough sleep at night can boost an older person’s immune system and physical and mental health. As you visit a homebound family member, be mindful of the number of naps they take during the day and for how long because this can interfere with their ability to sleep through the night.
4. Keep your homebound loved one in the loop.
If you are one of the only individuals helping care for your homebound family or friend, they may be completely unaware of the latest news around town or in your family. Staying connected to the outside world helps prevent loneliness and anxiety in your loved one. When you are visiting them, help keep them in the loop.
Tell them the latest family news and events.
Your homebound loved one will love and appreciate hearing what is happening in the lives of their family and friends. Keep them informed on births, graduations, marriages, and other accomplishments and milestones. Share photos and visit as often as possible to let them know you are thinking of them.
5. Connect your loved one with Meals on Wheels.
Meals on Wheels is a nationwide service serving 2.4 million seniors across the country. CareLink’s Meals on Wheels team prepares 900 hot meals every Monday through Friday to deliver to homebound seniors in Little Rock, Maumelle, and North Little Rock. We also partner with other senior services to help provide meals to other seniors outside of our radius.
Meals on Wheels provides homebound seniors with a support system and familiar face throughout each week. Our volunteers and staff help make our mission of fighting hunger possible. Meals on Wheels is our way of giving back to your loved ones through socialization and tasty meals.
Meals on Wheels and Resources for Homebound Elderly in Little Rock, Arkansas
If you are interested in volunteering to help with Meals on Wheels, you can fill out a volunteer application to get started today. To learn more about Meals on Wheels or how to get your loved one connected, contact us today for more information.