Published On: Thu, Jul 29th, 2021

Tips For Caregivers Caring For the Elderly

Caregiving is not just a job. It is a career, a passion. With the demand for caregivers continually rising over the years, it has become more and more important that caregivers stay dedicated to their chosen career. 

If you are a caregiver or a family member looking for Advanced Care for your elderly loved one, here are important tips to remember when caring for the eldelry:

Understand aging 

Becoming an effective caregiver starts with one thing: having a deep understanding of how aging works. Aging is not just a number. One can be above 60 years old and still be considered psychologically young. Reaching a certain age does not mean that you’ll automatically become dependent on performing daily tasks. 

Why is knowing this important? So that caregivers will not make the mistake in providing care based solely on the age of the client. Each elderly has specific needs. Not every person ages the same way. By knowing this, caregivers working in a caregiver agency in Mequon, WI or elsewhere can provide care and service based on the unique needs of their client.

photo/ StockSnap

Respect the elderly’s sense of independence

The elderly prefer to remain in control of their daily lives. Caregivers must learn to respect that and give their elderly client the sense of independence that they require. You may be there to help your client achieve certain tasks, but you must not intervene with their functionality and independence. 

Never assume. Always consider what the patient prefers. For instance, if your patient has difficulty eating, you must not immediately assume that you’ll feed him or her yourself. Strike a balance between helping and allowing the patient to be independent. In this case, you can first offer a spoon with a better grip. Find ways to help the patient be as independent as possible before you step in and do the task yourself.

Make informed decisions

While your focus is providing in-home care to your patient, there may be situations when you will have to decide for your patient. In doing so, always make an informed decision. Don’t just make a decision based on what’s convenient on your end. Consider the circumstances and relevant information. Always consider the well-being of your client. It’s also important that you inform the patient’s family before making any drastic decision.

The end goal is to minimize your patient’s discomfort and improve his quality of life. Always keep these in mind when making important decisions for your patient.

Master the art of communication

Communication is key in caring for the elderly. It’s not just communication between you and the patient. It also includes communication between you and among the patient’s family and medical personnel. Misunderstanding or miscommunication often leads to making wrong decisions that may be detrimental to the patient. 

Aspiring caregivers must learn to establish proper communication especially to their patients. Communication is more about listening than talking. Hence, to establish good communication, you must learn how to listen. Not just listen, but actively listen. This way, you’ll learn more about the patient. Often, when we’re not actively listening, we fail to understand what the patient truly wants.

The elderly can be quite sensitive. Hence, it’s important that you speak with them in a respectful manner. To avoid miscommunication, use clear and concise words. That way, the elderly will not misunderstand your instruction. 

Communication goes beyond words. Thus, it is also important that you know how to understand your patient’s emotions and actions. They may have a hard time telling you what they want. Learn to interpret their wants based not only on what they say, but also on their actions and emotions.

These tips will help you become a successful caregiver. More importantly, stay compassionate to the elderly and remain dedicated to what you do.

Author: Stefan Prohnitchi

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