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Caring for an elderly relative


It is very hard for families to care for a frail and elderly relative, whether they live at home with you or in their own home and you visit to take care of them.  They are a worry and families find themselves in this scenario all too often.


There is help, ask Social Services for some support or speak to your local Age UK branch or other local charity to see what support they can provide you with.


It often remains a thankless task, in that your relative resents the “interference” and I have often seen other family members descend on the scene, criticise the carer and leave without much more contribution.  The carer is left worrying that they are doing the right thing and then regretting what they do do.


I advise my clients, if they are the relatives that it is a process of crisis management and that if they overcome one problem, there will be another one along in time, so never think that the problems are over.  It is helpful to get themselves into the right place mentally and then the situation can be easier to cope with.  The families are grieving the loss of the person that they once knew, but cannot mourn that person as they have not died.


I’m not making this sounding like much fun and usually it isn’t, but this is their beloved relative and families want to help.  It can sometimes be a time when with a bit of role reversal of carer and cared for that families can become even closer and have a deeper and more meaningful relationship, which is immensely touching and can be very surprising to those involved.