It is not always easy caring for an elderly person. Their physical condition, health issues and their emotional state can present challenges for you, the caregiver. There are no doubts that caring for an elderly person is admirable, but it certainly comes with stress and at times can be overwhelming.
Far too many people feel guilty that they can not care for an elderly person on their own. Life presents far too many challenges and more often than not raising a family, paying into a mortgage and keeping food on the table can be challenging enough let alone adding to this caring for an elderly loved one. Although this can be challenging – it is not impossible. Preparing yourself and your family members for the transition is essential in order to make this work well.
Get informed about the physical needs of your loved one. Talk to the doctor and to anyone else who may have the wisdom and knowledge to help you care for the elderly member of your family. Know what to expect, what medications are required. Using services provided by a certified in-home caregiver from a professional agency can assist you in times that you need that extra help.
Keeping all important information in one file is important and this includes all medical information including test results, names and phone numbers of doctors, appointment dates, hospital cards, and insurance information. If your loved one is taking a lot of medications, make a chart to help keep track of what medication is to be taken and when.
Always be sure the home is safe. If your loved one uses a walker be sure throw rugs are secure, and there are no obstacles for them to trip over. Install safety railings should this help. If your loved one can get confused at times, it’s also a good safety precaution to have a baby gate positioned high enough in the door frame at staircases so that they can not fall down.
Spending time caring for the elderly does not have to be all about taking care of their personal needs. Spend time asking them about their life. Everyone has stories to share about their life and some seniors have great experiences to share.
Teach an elderly person about the Internet. Many elderly people are nervous about computers and teaching them about all the amazing benefits of the Internet can spark new life in the person you are caring for.
The brain likes to stay active and no better way to do this than to play word games, crossword puzzles or even some board games such as Scrabble.
Always remember to be understanding because as we get older we tend to be very set in our ways and this means being stubborn at times. If the person you are caring for is being very stubborn and it is not a big issue, let it go. If the stubbornness is over something that is not negotiable it’s much easier to handle and you’ll have much less stress when you know to expect it.
When you have all the tools you need, it will make caring for the elderly much easier.