Elderly Care – Home Team Care and Support

Extended family

Nobody wants to think about what will happen to their parents as they age and become more dependent on family support. But, it’s inevitable. So, it’s important to start thinking about how to make their lives as simple and relaxed as possible as they ease into old age. It has been well documented that loneliness can contribute to mental health problems, especially as we age, so relying on a home team is important for our wellbeing. Here are some tips on how to implement home team care and support for the elderly.

What is a home team?

A home team is a group of family members, friends, colleagues or a mixture of all three whom you can depend upon, both emotionally, physically and socially. They are the ones who can motivate you when you’re feeling low, advise you when you’re in a tricky situation, support you when you have experienced a tragedy, and make you laugh when you need it the most.

Who is on your home team?

Home teams come in all shapes and sizes and can be different even for other family members. Your home team is who you have formed an unbreakable rapport with over the years (or even recently if you gelled straight away) and who you know is going to be there for you in the good and the bad times.

Why do we need a home team?

A home team in life allows us to experience life to its fullest, to enjoy what really matters in life – to form relationships and experience true love. We need a home team to make us feel complete to ensure that if we are in a conundrum, they can help us get out of it. They contribute to your life more than you’ll ever know and as you get older, you will be able to depend on them more so when you need it the most. This is why the adage of ‘treat people as you want to be treated yourself’, rings so true at this point because there will come a time when you will need to depend on your home team and if you’ve pushed them away up until this stage, you may find yourself in a team of ‘me, myself and I’.

Does our home team change over time?

As we get older, we tend to want our family around more to stop us from feeling lonely. Sometimes your children can help with a bit of DIY in the house or getting the shopping in for example. And, if your children have had children, then your grandchildren will be around more to help. If you are lucky enough for your family to live close by, then your grandchildren become part of your home team. Grandchildren can bring life to their grandparents in ways people cannot replicate. Grandchildren remind them of what it felt like to be young again and can provide that much-needed boost in morale. Grandparents get to parent their grandchildren again with the benefit of hindsight and life experience and it is such a wonderful relationship to experience if you have the fortune of being around your extended family.

Unfortunately, it may not always be possible to have your close-knit family and friends around you. Birds flee the nest and settle miles away and acquaintances may fade into the distance or even pass away. As you get older, friendship groups tend to get smaller as well, but the ones that have stuck around are the ones that stood the test of time and will inevitably last forever.

How can we help and be part of our older generation’s home team?

When SunLife asked over 55s whether they would prefer to stay in their own home, rather than move, 60% said they would have preferred to stay in the comforts of their own home. We can help ensure they receive their wish by offering care and support as part of their home team. Of course, most parents would like to maintain their independence, so making changes like adapting their home, for example, installing stairlifts and door entry systems, can ensure they can carry on living a high quality of life with the added benefit of their home team available when they need it, either through live-in care, or part-time care.

Encouraging your parents to keep fit is also a great way of lengthening their life expectancy, so taking them out for walks, and new activities is great for the mind and the soul. Being part of a home team that has younger children means that grandparents need to keep up with the activities and this forces them to get outside of their comfort zone occasionally. This is good for their morale, if you don’t push it too much.

You could ask your elder relative to move in with you so that you can offer more help with daily tasks. They may feel like they are imposing, but it’s important to note that if they need help, they know they can rely on their home team.

It is unavoidable that one day we will require the same care and support from our home team and so it is vital to keep this close-knit love and support around you whenever you can. No one wants to grow old on their own and so if you find that you need to reconnect with some members of your home team, do not hesitate. Seek them out and find out if they need a home team of their own.

*Collaborative feature post*

Leyla Preston (599 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/