There are many different types of caregivers. You could be a care assistant in a care home or a nursing home, you may be looking after a friend or relative. Whatever sort of relationship you have with the individual in your care, there will be a lot of challenges that you will have to face that you probably have not dealt with before, and it can be hard to know where to start and what to do.
We’ve put together a few of our top tips on how to be an elderly caregiver.
Take time for yourself
We’ve put this tip first as this is probably the one important. How can you look after another individual when you cant even look after yourself? It can be very easy to get lost in the role as a caregiver, making sure that they are happy, well fed, all medications have been taken etc making you lose track of your own needs. Make sure you give yourself breaks and get your own tasks done. Many caregivers hold down some sort of job or have their own children to look after, which can add additional stress to an already difficult situation.
If you feel like everything is just getting too much perhaps book yourself a holiday or a small break. Look for private care companies who offer live-in care while you are away, just to give yourself some peace in mind for you and the person in care. Private live-in care can be adapted to your personal needs so if the person in care has dementia you can ask for someone who has experience in that department and allow them to take on their job role, while you get time to relax and recharge.
Make a routine
There is no set way to look after someone, everyone looks after people in different ways. But it is important to establish a routine. This will create structure and make you both happier and less stressful. By making a routine it will be easier to keep on top on set meals, administering medication and personal hygiene. For the elderly person it will give them reassurance and will make them happy in the knowledge that the tasks they can no longer do are still getting completed. Seniors love routine and hate unexpected things as this can lead to stress.
Take advantage of community resources
This can make your life a little easier as you wont have as many tasks to think about. Most communities help caregivers and their parents. By asking for community resources it can help make caregiving a little easier.
There are many community resources that can help you such as:
- Home care aids
- Meal delivery programmes
- Transportation and shopping services
- Hired companions
- Personal care services
Many organisations that do this are funded through the government which means they are able to give you assistance at a small or no cost.
Make necessary legal changes
If the elderly person in your care is your parent work on the legal documents that they have or want to have such as :
- Living wills
- Health care proxy forms
- Power of attorney
- Trust and guardianships
- Do not resuscitate order
Find the important documents like birth certificates, deed to home and insurance policies and make sure they are filed correctly.
Keep a record of bank accounts, social security numbers, credit cards, health and life insurance policies and driver’s’ license. Ensure that all these documents are kept in a safe and secure place such as a safe, where they can be accessed quickly if an emergency arises.
Here at The Midlands Training Company we offer a course which will give you more information and help you to understand your role as a caregiver for more information please click the link here: https://www.themidlandstrainingcompany.co.uk/product/care-understanding-your-role/
Or call us on 02746714 873.