Elderly Care Tips for Caregivers

Elderly Care Tips for Caregivers

Are you new to taking care of a parent or loved one? Or thinking about it?

You’re not alone. Millions of people like you already do it.

The National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP Public Policy Institute estimate that approximately 34 million Americans have provided unpaid care to a person age 50 or older in the last 12 months. 85% of those unpaid caregivers are caring for a family member.

It can be a joy to take care of your mom, dad, or other loved one. But it can also be confusing, frustrating, stressful, and exhausting.

Especially if you go into caregiving unprepared.

Communication, safety, exercise, and hygiene often present difficulties for caregivers, so we’re going to focus our tips on those areas since they’ll be most helpful for you.

Tips for Communicating When Caring for the Elderly

Taking care of an aging loved one requires patience. This is especially true when it comes to communicating with them. Caregiver tips for communication include:

  • Initiate communication by connecting with them physically or emotionally
  • Establish and maintain eye contact. It’s a powerful form of nonverbal communication
  • Use the person’s name when you speak to them
  • Touch your loved one on the shoulder or hold their hand
  • Be patient and compassionate
  • Ask questions instead of ordering them around
  • Try simple yes or no questions if making decisions is difficult for them
  • Learn how to be an active listener

Tips for Maintaining a Safe Home When Caring for the Elderly

Every year, 1 in 3 adults over the age of 65 fall, and falls can lead to serious injury, so it’s extremely important to redesign your home to prevent falls. Caregiver tips for safety include:

  • Remove small throw rugs and clutter that might cause trips
  • Use double-sided adhesive tape to firmly attach any large area rugs
  • Tack electrical cords to the baseboards so they’re out of the way
  • Add brighter lighting around stairs, sunken areas, or furniture
  • Install handrails and grab bars along stairways, next to the toilet, and in the bath or shower
  • Install a raised toilet in the bathroom
  • Line up furniture along the edges of rooms so it’s out of the way
  • Get night lights for bedrooms, bathrooms, and hallways

Tips for Exercise When Caring for the Elderly

Exercise is good for the heart, muscles, and joints and also helps make a good night’s sleep more likely. A long run might not work for your loved one, so here are some exercise options that might be a better fit:

  • Take a daily walk together
  • Let your loved one help sweep, dust, rake leaves, or vacuum
  • Get some rubber exercise bands for them to use
  • Stretch with your loved one
  • Bring water with you and make sure your loved one hydrates
  • Eat healthy snacks to keep energy levels up
  • Explore chair yoga to improve strength and flexibility

Tips for Maintaining Hygiene When Caring for the Elderly

Sometimes taking care of a loved one means helping them with routine daily activities they can’t do anymore, like bathing, getting dressed, brushing hair, etc. Here are some tips for helping with these:

  • Get your loved one comfortable loose-fitting clothes with an elastic waistband
  • Lay out clothes in the order they’re put on
  • Use a shower chair and handheld showerhead to improve bathing safety
  • Wash hair in a sink with a hose
  • Rinse with mouthwash after meals if brushing teeth is too difficult

Contact Sonas Home Health Care for Home Care

If you or an aging loved one are considering home health care services in Florida, contact the caring staff at Sonas Home Health Care. Call today (888) 592-5855.

Sources
https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/basics/info-2017/home-safety-tips-ag.html
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/caregiving
https://medicare.com/caregiver-resources/elderly-care-tips-every-caregiver-should-know/
http://www.caregiving.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2015_CaregivingintheUS_Final-Report-June-4_WEB.pdf

Conversations