Friendly Reminders About Offering Care to the Elderly
It isn’t easy to be a caregiver to an elderly person. It takes a special individual to devote his/her time and energy to the well-being of a loved one. Of course, most caregivers would simply refer to their responsibilities as something they “have to do”. They don’t even think about it. That makes them awesome people. It doesn’t, however, necessarily make them caregiving experts. To help out, here are some friendly reminders about offering care to the elderly.
Inquire About Your Loved One’s Preferences
Optimum caregiving involves regular back-and-forth conversations. There should be no dictatorship in a caregiver-care-recipient relationship. Be sure to ask about the preferences your elderly loved one has. For example, does he/she prefer to bathe in the morning after waking up or in the evening right before bed? Devise a schedule for care that keeps in mind the needs and wants of the person receiving the care.
“Does your loved one have a preference about which family member or what type of service provides care?” asks Mayo Clinic, “While you might not be able to meet all of your loved one’s wishes, it’s important to take them into consideration. If your loved one has trouble understanding you, simplify your explanations and the decisions you expect him or her to make.”
Be Sure to Do Your Research
Every senior has unique needs. They are specific to one’s age, gender, physical condition, ailments, etc. It’s extremely important to do your research so that you are well-versed in the area of your care recipient’s health situation. Caregivers of individuals with dementia, for example, must be aware of the symptoms of the disease. In many cases, they may affect the moods of their loved ones. For example, a great deal of patience will be required in the event the senior refuses to bathe due to the belief he/she already has for the day.
“Caregiving is a multi-faceted job that requires a whole slew of skills: medical, financial, legal, interpersonal, etc.” explains Carol Bradley Bursack on AgingCare.com, “The more you can learn about what lies ahead for your loved one and yourself, the better prepared you will be throughout this journey.”
Describe the Care You Provide in a Positive Way
As noted, communication is key. A good caregiving plan involves one where the care recipient is receptive to all of the assistance he/she receives. In many cases, seniors are apprehensive about receiving any care at all. Discuss the care in a positive, mutually beneficial way. Give the senior in your life the confidence that the assistance you’re providing is for his/her benefit. Also, divulge that you’re only too happy to offer it. Remember that some seniors may feel guilty about burdening their caregivers.
“Refer to respite care as an activity your loved one likes,” advises Mayo Clinic, “Talk about a home care provider as a friend. You might also call elder care a club, or refer to your loved one as a volunteer or helper at the center.”
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