Becoming a caregiver isn’t an easy task, and it often happens very quickly. Most people aren’t trained in providing elderly care services, so it’s easy to become overwhelmed and run down. The old saying about taking care of the caregiver is true; you can’t take care of anyone else if you’re exhausted, run down, and sick. These caregiver tips will help you stay mentally and physically up to the challenge of providing in home care to a loved one. By following these elderly care tips, you’ll stave off burnout and make the time you spend with your loved one special and enjoyable for everyone.
- Don’t feel guilty about breaks. Respite time away from the situation is vital for your mental and physical health. Schedule a few hours at least a couple of times a month to take a break and do a favorite activity. Visit a coffee shop, get a massage, or do whatever recharges and reinvigorates you. You’ll be a better caregiver when you’re not stressed and frazzled.
- Helping your loved ones look good makes them feel good too. Stay on top of haircuts, dental checkups, and other maintenance. If she wore makeup or nail polish, helping her do her hair and nails regularly will keep her spirits up and keep depression at bay. Be sure their clothes fit well and are in good shape. Easy to wash fabrics will make laundry less stressful on everyone.
- Don’t put pressure on them to remember things. It’s difficult when dementia begins to take its toll, but constantly asking a loved one to remember people, dates, or events will only upset and frustrate them. This in turn will eventually cause stress and frustration for you. In the grand scheme of things, it’s ok if a loved one doesn’t enjoy watching the same old movies anymore. The important thing is to spend time together while you can.
- Spend time together on a regular basis. It gets lonely when you’re stuck in a house all day without the distractions of a job or a family. A TV on in the background provides noise, but not human interaction or decent company. Try making plans to spend specific times together – Sunday afternoon visits, or Wednesday evening phone calls, for example. This gives them something to look forward to, and lets you block off time on your schedule so you can plan other events around that time.
- Understand and accept that change happens. Human beings tend to resist change and accepting it can be difficult. It may be hard to accept that a loved one is growing older and can’t do the same things they always did, but avoiding or denying that fact won’t change it. The best advice is to accept the changes that are coming and manage whatever happens as it comes.
- Make sure they always feel capable, and don’t say “no” outright. These are often the same people who taught you how to walk and eat, so they may resent any assistance you try to provide. Try to find creative ways to help them with activities that require assistance, like getting up from chairs. The number of assistive devices on the market is astounding; a quick search online may hold the answer to your problem. If there’s something they want to do that isn’t possible, find a way to distract them or suggest an alternative.
- Be patient. If you think this is a difficult situation, imagine being in a body that no longer responds to your brain the way it used to even just a few years ago. These changes can be terrifying, frustrating, overwhelming, or all of these on any given day. It may take a little longer to accomplish things or get to places, but it will still happen.
- Accept help. Nobody can do all of this on their own, nor should they try. If someone offers any kind of assistance, be it help with preparing meals, housekeeping, or respite care, take them up on the offer! This is truly one of those times when “it takes a village.”
When you need quality senior care services, you can trust the professionals at Elderly HomeCare. We provide skilled, caring senior home care so you can be sure your loved one is in the best hands. We care for the total person – their mental, physical, and social health. We’ll work with you to find the best care solution for your loved one to make them feel safe and secure.