Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

7 Tips on Caring for Your Elderly Loved Ones

  Jan 17, 2024
Reviewed by Ravinder Kaur

Caring for Your Elderly Loved Ones

Caring for elderly parents or loved ones as they navigate their senior years presents a multifaceted challenge. Especially when health declines or cognition falters, families shoulder major responsibilities in ensuring their comfort, safety, and dignity. 

While rewarding, healthcare responsibilities also bring physical and emotional demands. Pressures mount quickly from hygiene assistance to medical oversight to existential concerns over mortality. Even devoted families get overwhelmed trying to provide round-the-clock supervision and compassionate support. 

With some knowledge and planning, you can avoid burnout and prepare to tackle diverse senior wellness needs. Here are 7 tips to guide families in thoughtfully caring for their aging relatives.

Establishing Supportive Living Arrangements: 

One of the first steps in caring for your aging loved ones is assessing their living needs. Can they still safely live independently, or is it time to consider other arrangements? Here are some common options to explore:

  • Staying at home: With some home modifications, part-time assistance from relatives or aides, and check-ins, many seniors can remain at home. This provides comfort and familiarity.
  • Moving in with family: Inviting your elders to live with you can provide more direct support. Make sure to have proper space for them.
  • Assisted living: More hands-on health assistance can be found who can help with medications, bathing, dressing, and more.
  • Nursing homes: For those needing round-the-clock healthcare and supervision nursing homes are the best. They provide different levels of skilled nursing support.

When touring nursing homes and facilities, pay close attention to the surroundings, staffing, activities, and services. Make sure your loved one has input in the decision, too. 

If you ever suspect neglect or notice unexplained injuries during visits to a nursing home, be sure to report concerns and seek justice, such as through advocacy organizations like

According to research, between 53 and 68 percent of family caregivers are women. They are more likely to help with challenging tasks like bathing. 

Enlist Family Support: 

Helping aging parents spans far beyond any one individual. Reach out to siblings, relatives, and other related members to share duties and costs. Have an open discussion about your senior’s needs and preferences. Then, devise a schedule with each family member handling certain tasks like: 

  • Grocery shopping and meal prep
  • Transporting to doctor appointments
  • Assisting with bathing or dressing
  • Managing medications  
  • Ensuring the home is clean and maintained
  • Providing social visits and activities
  • Overseeing finances and bills
  • Making medicinal decisions

Splitting obligations prevents any sole caregiver from burning out. It also allows the elderly person to benefit from connecting regularly with different relatives. Share the load according to each person’s abilities.

Hire Professional Caregivers as Needed:

Even with familial support, hiring outside help to assume custodian roles often becomes necessary. Professional caretakers offer hands-on assistance in the following: 

  • Bathing, grooming, oral health
  • Toileting and incontinence help
  • Feeding and mealtimes  
  • Mobility help like transfers 
  • Medication reminders and administration
  • Transport for errands and appointments 
  • Light housekeeping and laundry

Certain factors indicate when additional support proves necessary:

  • The senior’s health and safety needs exceed what the relatives can provide
  • Family members live far away or have limited availability of transportation
  • Work or childcare duties prevent constant oversight
  • Families lack healthcare training for complex conditions

Work with a reputable agency that thoroughly screens and trains nurses. Or hire private professionals with verifiable backgrounds, experience, and references. Clearly outline your expectations. And have regular check-ins to ensure your elderly parents feel comfortable with staff. 

In the graph below, you can see that the elderly between the age of 81-90 need the most care. 

The Demand for Caregivers is Highest for the Elderly Between the Ages 81-90

Address Medical Needs: 

Seniors often face multiple complex health conditions requiring diligent coordination and oversight. From scheduling medical appointments to filling prescriptions to managing insurance claims, ensure your loved one receives proper help for:

  • Chronic issues like heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis
  • Mobility difficulties requiring assistive equipment  
  • Cognitive conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s
  • Recent illnesses, surgeries, or injuries
  • Increased risk for infections and falls
  • Daily medication administration 
  • Therapies for improved functioning
  • General prevention and wellness

Maintain detailed healthcare files. Attend key appointments for better understanding. Ask doctors to explain warning signs and how to best assist with any limitations. Having one designated family member oversee the health management helps minimize risks.

Monitor Finances:

Keep close tabs on an elder’s financial matters. With cognitive decline, they may struggle to recall bill payments or fall prey to exploitation. Prevent catastrophe by:

  • Managing checking accounts and monthly bills 
  • Reviewing bank and credit card statements  
  • Overseeing investment accounts
  • Having mail routed to your address
  • Securing assets like property deeds
  • Monitoring for any suspicious transactions

Set up auto pay for routine bills. Hire an accountant if needed for tax preparation. Discuss Power of Attorney documents giving you legal authority to handle finances with complex file systems. Prevent rummaging for lost cash and relinquish car keys if driving abilities decline. Instituting financial oversight safeguards assets.

Prioritize Safety Precautions:

Seniors face huge risks of accidents and injuries. A minor accident can quickly spiral into long-lasting disability if an elderly person is home alone and unable to call for help. Implement preventative measures like:

  • Keeping a list of emergency contacts readily accessible
  • Ensuring access to a panic button or mobile phone
  • Having grab bars, railings, and good lighting installed
  • Securing or removing tripping hazards
  • Monitoring the use of potentially dangerous appliances
  • Discouraging climbing on furniture or ladders
  • Making sure neighbors have your contact information
  • Encouraging social visits and activities to prevent isolation

Also, ensure your loved one wears a medical alert bracelet listing conditions. Remind them to take things slowly and ask for help when unsure. Safety should remain the top priority.

Make Time for Quality Connections:

Amid the daily tasks, don’t lose sight of the importance of relationships. Spend quality time focused fully on your elder throughout a face-to-face meeting. 

  • Reminiscing over family photos or old videos
  • Reading books, magazines, or spiritual passages aloud
  • Solving crossword puzzles or playing card games  
  • Hand massages with calming lotion
  • MANICURES or pedicures for grooming  
  • Watching a favorite nostalgic movie or show together
  • Baking sweets or cooking familiar recipes together  
  • Looking at memorabilia or hearing family stories
  • Sitting outdoors together, enjoying the fresh air

Simple pleasures mean the world when mobility, vision, and cognition diminish. Just your presence provides comfort and closeness as your elderly navigate profound life changes.


Caring for elderly family members poses complex challenges but yields immense rewards. By safeguarding their comfort, dignity, and safety through attentive support and protection, you enable them to age gracefully. 

With resourcefulness and help from professionals, custodians can avoid burnout. Most importantly, leverage available time to connect meaningfully with your aging loved ones. The memories created by caring for them often prove priceless.