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The role family plays in the life of older persons

Family is an integral part of everyone’s life.  It is our connection to the past and to the future.  The importance of family increase with the advance of age as older persons need more support and help in their later life. Family relationships are important at every stage of life. But they’re important for different reasons at different ages. As we grow older, our circumstances change and the things we need from our family change with them. Strong family relationships give older persons a much-needed support system as age makes them increasingly vulnerable. These relationships are often essential to older person’s emotional and mental well-being. Fa

Family provides different forms of care and support, even when older persons are in residential facilities.  Family members influence the care older persons receive through their involvement and concerns.  They expect that quality care is provided to their elderly in order to promote the well-being of the older person.  This means that supportive family results in quality care.

Older persons prefer to spend time with their family.  The lack of family support causes loneliness and loneliness impacts negatively on the older person’s life.  It is important for the facility to involve family members actively in the care of older persons.  This not only enhances social support but helps the staff to understand the history and personality of the resident.

Family is not always near and it is therefore not always possible for family to visit their elder regularly.  Modern technology, however, removes the physical distance between family and the older person.  Through telephone conversations, WhatsApp messages, voice notes and Skype the relationship between family and the elder can stay intact.  Learning to keep up with technology is an opportunity for the older person to learn new skills and improve their quality of life.

Sometimes it can be challenging to be a family member of someone whose health is failing, and who might not even recognize you at times. However, there are many ways that you can still help an older person with basic tasks. Giving personal care such as helping fold laundry, run errands, or simply stop by for a chat will help improve the quality of life and go a long way to improving elderly care at the same time.

Residential facilities at Free State Care in Action can provide support to the family members during the stay of the older person.  Family members are seen as an important role-player and as a care-partner.  Family members are motivated to be involved in the care of the older person from the beginning and on different levels.  Families can also receive support and guidance from a social worker when the older person is still staying in the community and can be connected to services and support available in the community.

For more information contact Free State Care in Action on 051-4446143.