Senior care is one of the toughest jobs to undertake. That’s why there is so much burnout and stress reported by people who engage in senior care. Caregivers spend so much energy and time caring for their older adults that they neglect their health and well-being.
Caregivers need to realize that they cannot give 110% daily and must understand when it is time to ask for help. As humans, it is impossible to continue giving your best without assistance. Besides, it is not good for the health either.
We provide the following tips to help all the caregivers provide the best care to their older adults and simultaneously look after their health and well-being.
Make caregiving a mutual effort
Getting old does not mean your elders no longer have a say. Though they might have lost the vibrancy of their youth, they still possess thinking and opinion. Therefore, give them a chance to voice their view. Ask what kind of care they would want from you and how they would like to receive it. Undeniably caregiving requirements change over time, but making a mutual plan can still help.
Also, collaborate with your elder’s doctor. Make sure you enquire about your elder’s diseases and medical conditions and the type of care you should provide them.
If you are thinking of providing home care to your elders, be sure it is the right thing to do. Alternatively, you can keep them in an aged care community too. These facilities look after and care like home.
Make your home safe
If you prefer home care, ensure your home is safe for the elders. Making your house elder-proof doesn’t require making many structural changes. Therefore, these changes might not cost a lot, but they can help you care for and keep your elders safe.
Taking the following steps will keep your elders safe from the risk of falls and other health-shattering injuries.
- Place slip-proof mats in the bathroom
- Put non-skid strips on tile and hardwood floor
- Reduce the water temperature to keep it lukewarm
- Remove all the clutter and extra furniture out of the way
- Add safety rails along the stairs
- Place nightlights around the house
Ask for help
You might feel that you should not be asking for help, and others must understand it themselves and help you, but it seldom happens. So, step forward, and ask for help yourself.
Discuss with your relatives and siblings the effort required to care for the older adult and ask for a helping hand. Ask them to share responsibilities with you so you can get the much-required break and look after yourself.
Getting help from the family will be a good thing to do. Remember not to push others to care the way you do; understand that everyone has their way.
Consider a nursing home
Often your elders require 24 hours medical assistance and professional care, which you cannot provide at home. In this situation, considering a nursing home is a better choice.
In a nursing home, professional nurses and medical staff is always available to provide emergency care. Nursing homes also offer a safe environment for their residents.
If you are reluctant about a long-term stay in the nursing home, consider one month trial period and see the improvement in your loved ones. If your elder is happy and receives the care they need, then consider a long-term plan.
Visit them often
People become very childlike when they reach old age. Elders’ social engagements reduce considerably, so it is possible that they feel lonely. In addition, it is also true that they crave your company more. Therefore, visit them often, enquire about their health, and ask if they are happy and need something.
Spending time with them is necessary whether they are under home care or in a nursing home. They will feel alive and energetic, resulting in better mental and physical health.
Regularly check the medication
Whenever you visit your elders, check the supply of their medication. Do they have enough meds to go for a week? If not, refill their supply so there is no break in their medication intake schedule.
If they are taking meds for various illnesses, buy a pill organizer with compartments. Label the slots on the pill organizer with days and times (Am and PM) so there is no confusion about dosage.
If any medication is changed or a new one is added, ask your doctor or the healthcare provider about the possibility of any potential side effects. It is better to keep tabs on everything to ensure your loved one’s health is not compromised.
Indulge them in physical exercise
Keeping your elders involved and active is extremely important for keeping them healthy. Exercise improves their mental and physical health and brings a positive change in their life. It also strengthens their muscles and improves their balance, preventing them from falling.
It is not rare for seniors to become quiet and sheltered as they age. In extreme cases, they also feel depressed, especially after losing a spouse. Exercise keeps them involved and helps them stay active and focused.
Provide healthy meals
Providing them with a healthy diet is a surefire way to care for them. A healthy diet provides them with the essential nutrients their body requires.
If you cannot cook daily, cook a few meals in advance or hire a professional cook if your resources allow. Additionally, there are assisted meal services too. Often, these services cater to special requests such as food for diabetic patients.
It is not only essential but recommended to provide healthy meals to your older adult to maintain their overall health.
Caring for an adult is a tough job. It is mentally, physically, and emotionally tiring. Therefore, you need breaks to get away for some time. You can also ask for relatives' or professional help or consider a nursing home. Caring for an older adult should be a planned activity. It should maintain your elder's health but not harm your well-being.
Follow the above tips to better care for your older adults.