New Caregiver? 10 Useful Tips for Taking Care of Elderly Family Members

Embarking on the journey of caregiving for an elderly family member can be a profoundly rewarding yet challenging experience. It’s a role that requires compassion, patience, and resilience, as caregivers must navigate the complexities of their loved ones’ needs, from health concerns to emotional and social support. This blog post is designed to serve as a beacon for those new to caregiving, offering ten practical and essential tips to help you provide the best possible care for your aging family members. 

Whether managing medications, safety-proofing the home, or simply offering a listening ear, the guidance here aims to empower you with the knowledge and tools you need to navigate this critical role. By understanding the nuances of elderly care, you can significantly impact the life of your loved one while also ensuring your well-being as a caregiver.

Stay in Constant Touch

As your parents or any other elderly family members start growing older, it’s more important than ever to stay in constant touch. Not only should you call them every day for an update, but you should also visit them as often as possible. During these visits, please look around the house to ensure they are taking proper care of themselves.

Hire Help

Once your loved one’s health declines, you should consider hiring help. You probably have a job that doesn’t allow you to look after your parents 24×7.  Also, be sure to consider activity director software as well.

Understandably, your elderly parents might not be comfortable with letting a stranger help them with everyday tasks. With FreedomCare, they can hire someone they like, even a friend or a relative.

Make Arrangements for At-Home Care

Do your parents live in a fourth-floor walk-up apartment? That’s not safe. You should consider home health care in Myrtle Beach, SC, for a living arrangement that’s easier to access.  Provide a high-quality hospital bed for their protection and comfort. In addition to this, please take a look around their house to ensure there are no safety hazards. Ensure the bathroom is slip-proof and the whole place has bright lighting.

Keep Up with Doctor’s Appointments

Getting older often involves frequent doctor’s appointments. Make suitable arrangements to take them safely to all the appointments. Furthermore, please keep track of their medical prescriptions and thoroughly brief the hired help about all their medications.

Take Care of Bills & Paperwork

As time passes, your elderly family member will become less alert. Taking care of their paperwork is essential, such as paying utility bills and estate planning promptly.

Encourage Them to be Active

Encourage your elderly loved ones to stay physically and socially active. Get them a membership for Senior Centers, where they can enjoy various activities. Also, invite them over for social gatherings or visit them as often as possible.

Provide Home-Cooked Meals 

Older people are vulnerable to malnutrition. You can try to cook healthy meals at home for them. However, if you have a jam-packed schedule, you can subscribe to a meal-prepping service or hire someone to cook meals for your loved ones.

Create a Schedule

Without a schedule, your life will become a jumble. Create a schedule to ensure you get the shopping, prescriptions, doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, cleaning, and other tasks on time. A proper schedule will also allow you to take time for yourself.

Seek Financial Assistance

Elderly care is not only time-consuming and physically demanding but can also cause financial strain. You can explore various financial assistance programs to ease the financial burden.

Look After Yourself

Caring for an elderly family member, particularly at home, is difficult. But no matter how hectic things get, you must also look after yourself. If things get overwhelming, don’t shy away from taking a break. Hire help or ask a family member to take over while you rest and recharge.

Woman reading a book to an old man

More Tips to Bear in Mind

Adding to the comprehensive guide for caregivers, here are more tips to enhance the care you provide to elderly family members. These suggestions cover broader aspects of caregiving, focusing on improving the quality of life for the caregiver and the elderly family member.

  • Foster Independence: Encourage self-care as much as possible to maintain their independence and dignity.
  • Implement Memory Aids: Use tools like calendars, memory notebooks, or digital apps to help with memory retention and recall.
  • Understand and Manage Chronic Illnesses: Educate yourself about any chronic conditions they may have and how best to manage them.
  • Monitor Mental Health: Be vigilant for signs of depression or anxiety and seek professional help when needed.
  • Address Continence Issues: Approach incontinence with sensitivity and invest in products or strategies to manage it effectively.
  • Educate Yourself: The more you know about their health conditions, the better you can manage them and communicate with healthcare providers.
  • Plan for Emergencies: Have a clear plan for emergencies, including contact numbers and readily available medical information.
  • Optimize Sleep Environment: Ensure their sleeping area is comfortable, quiet, and conducive to restful sleep.
  • Use Adaptive Devices: Invest in adaptive devices and aids to help maintain their independence in daily tasks.
  • Celebrate Small Victories: Acknowledge and celebrate achievements, no matter how small, to boost their morale and encourage positive outlooks.

Incorporating these tips into your caregiving approach can significantly enhance your care, ensuring that your elderly family member enjoys a higher quality of life. Remember, caregiving is about meeting physical needs and nurturing their emotional and psychological well-being.


There’s no doubt that some days will be difficult. But once you find your footing, it will become easier to manage. And remember, there is no shame in asking for additional assistance.