Providing at-home care for an elderly family member is all about striking the right balance between respect and authority. It may take a few days or a few weeks before the two of you settle on the terms of your new relationship. Caring for older individuals comes with great responsibility, but it’s also about understanding the person’s concerns and emotional needs. Use these helpful tips for new caregivers to start your relationship off on the right foot.
1. Have an Open Conversation
In order for your working relationship to be successful, you need to have a clear understanding of what your elderly family member needs. Despite certain physical limitations, the elderly individual still wants to feel involved in the decision making process, especially when it relates to their own comfort and lifestyle. Encourage them to speak their mind freely, but don’t be afraid to set limits.
2. Make a Schedule
Keep a list of everything that needs to happen during the day to create some sense of normalcy and structure. In addition to a schedule, create a to-do list of the things that you need to accomplish as the caregiver. If you’ve just started caring for a certain individual, it’s important to learn more about their history including any previous medical conditions, any physical needs or limitations, as well as any important contact information including the person’s friends, neighbors, and close relatives.
3. Increase Mobility
It’s important to keep your elderly family member moving as much as their physical condition will allow. This gives them a sense of autonomy and increases their physical endurance. If certain floors and surfaces are too slippery, you can also try using a pair of our double tread socks to help with your elderly loved one’s balance and control.
4. Bring In Some Support
Let’s face it: you can’t do everything by yourself all the time. If your responsibilities as a caregiver become unmanageable, try bringing in another set of hands. Talk to your spouse, another family member, a neighbor, or another member of the community and ask them to help out with certain tasks such as running errands, preparing meals, grocery shopping, or providing transportation to doctor’s appointments.
5. Create a Sense of Community
Caring for an elderly individual is often about bringing people together. Social interaction is vital to the health and spirit of your elderly loved one. You can arrange social get-togethers at the house if their mobility is limited or at a nearby community center. Invite their friends from the community, any close family members and their children. Bringing people together is also about creating a support group for your elderly loved one. If urgent matters need addressing, you can hold a meeting with the individual’s friends and family to discuss how to best deal with the situation at hand.
For more senior care products or information, contact us. Learn more about how to handle your new role as a caregiver.