Caring for an elderly loved one can be a very rewarding experience. For centuries, families have cared for the elderly at home, without any advanced senior care trainings necessary beyond the ability to use common sense, understanding and high levels of respect. In many situations, the hardest hurdle to master as a family caregiver for seniors is the idea that the ailing elderly is not a child who needs help.
In This Article:
First Time Caregivers
12 Caregiving Tips For Beginners
Support For Caregivers Today
While it is true that some senior memory problems like Alzheimer’s Disease may leave the senior in a childlike state of mind, all homebound seniors must be treated with the same respect and dignity that they have been accustomed to before their bodies or minds started to falter. Every change in the lifestyle of an elderly can cause innumerable troubles for the caretaker. Tone of voice is always very important when caring for an elderly loved one, as seniors tend to be more sensitive.
First time caregivers often find it helpful to structure an hour-by-hour routine on paper that will guide them through their caregiving days. Strict scheduling helps to ease some of the caregiving stress that is involved with being a full-time caregiver. As new issues or additional duties become necessary in the daily caregiving routine, always be realistic and arrange for help whenever it is needed. Caregivers should always monitor their health closely and should remember to take occasional breaks to avoid caregiver burnout.
There are many different types of caregiver duties, and each situation is unique. There are very active seniors without memories and bedridden seniors who remember details from every day of their lives. In all situations, it is important to remember that happiness is a key ingredient to life. People react badly when bored, frustrated, in pain or unhappy. It is very important to find a way to create a happy environment for all aging seniors.
Happiness in later life is often directed by the senses. Pleasant smells, good tastes, calm environments that do not include new electronics and fun things to touch can go a very long way in some homecare settings. Caregivers are entertaining seniors in their world or fantasy world; modern attractions are often confusing and upsetting to people who are used to living without our modern big screens or talking computerized HD gadgets.
- Have confidence in your ability to be a qualified caregiver.
- Respect your aging loved one as an adult.
- Remember that all big or little changes can cause problems.
- Monitor your tone of voice to include pleasant tones at all times.
- Create a schedule to follow every day.
- Caregivers must monitor their own health and stress levels.
- Ask for outside help whenever it is needed. Be pushy if necessary.
- Take occasional breaks to recharge.
- Create happiness for the elderly you are caring for.
- Become a part of your seniors world by rearranging your life to accommodate.
- Explore good smells, nice tastes, quiet noises and fun items to touch.
- Join an online caregiver support group and keep a laptop handy.
It has never been easier to be a primary caregiver for seniors or aging family members. In the past, caregivers were often isolated away from others who were going through the same situations. Today, modern at-home caregivers keep a laptop computer handy to use for communications with others who understand their daily caregiving dilemmas. Online caregiver groups and discussion forums for caregivers can easily be found through the Internet. These caregiver groups and caregiver forums provide guidance and support to fellow caregivers who are experiencing the same caregiving issues. Other types of support groups can also be found through local Senior Citizen organizations, church groups and health organizations.
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