It can be hard to watch a loved one lose their independence. Whether they’re recovering from a hospitalization or just experiencing an overall decline in mobility, your loved one can still remain as self-sufficient as possible with your help.

Even if they can’t name any specific things they need at the moment, homebound loved ones can always use emotional support. Being homebound can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness, and depending on mobility, can make your loved one feel helpless. Consider bringing them small gifts like flowers, games, puzzles or books, or send them a personal letter. Plan fun things to do like home spa days, movie nights or a special dinner. Emotional support doesn’t always have to be sitting down with them and talking through struggles while shedding tears, although that can help, too. Small gestures can bring a lot of joy for someone stuck at home.

Help with their healthcare needs. Your loved one may need help going to medical appointments, scheduling future appointments, remembering what doctors say at appointments and staying on top of their medications. Offer help even before they ask, especially if you know that they have underlying health conditions and are unable to drive themselves. They may be putting off important medical visits so as not to inconvenience anyone in the family.

Help with chores. If they seem like they are struggling to keep up with their house or mention it’s hard for them to complete chores, offer to help keep things clean in whichever way might be most practical. It might be family taking turns with chores, or pooling a little money together to hire a cleaning service. Be honest with yourself about how much time and effort you can and will put into helping out. It’s okay not to do everything – sharing tasks with other family members or hiring help may be a necessary piece to the care puzzle.

Keep them in the loop about what’s going on in the family. Consider teaching your loved one how to use technology like virtual platforms for video chatting, so family visits can happen more often. Telling them what’s new with the family will help them feel less isolated and more connected, even if they can’t see many extended family members in person.

If you’re having trouble balancing your own life with caring for your loved one, Masonic Village Home Care can assist your loved one with the tasks of daily living, including scheduling appointments, running errands, organizing medications, personal hygiene and completing chores. Contact staff today for a free comprehensive initial assessment.