Working as a senior caregiver is a fascinating job; you get to spend a lot of time with sweet souls and inherit a chunk of wisdom every single day. However, taking care of the elderly is not easy; it needs patience and expertise to keep them happy and motivated. Whether you are working at a senior’s organization or need to take care of your elderly parents at home, you must be aware of some expert caregiving tips that will truly make a difference.
Read on to learn some simple yet effective senior caregiver tips for the elderly in your life.
Learn More About the Person and Their Expectations
If you are working at a home for seniors, you must learn more about the new member of the organization before they start living on the premises. It helps reduce awkwardness and you can prepare ahead of time. Even if you are taking care of your parents at home, they may expect you to behave in a certain way. For example, some elderly parents need some sort of independence and wish to do some things on their own to not feel like a burden. Communicate with your parents and ask them about their expectations to avoid issues in the long run.
Be Compassionate and Polite
People in their old age are sensitive and can get hurt easily. Having the right attitude is of the utmost importance, especially if you are going to spend a major part of your day with them. All you have to do is listen to them, be empathetic, and smile a lot. The elderly need love and joy, and being warm also shows a strong professional presence from your end. More importantly, be patient; the elderly prefer to take their time and accomplish tasks as they think fit. You should be patient and give them their space unless they wish to do something unacceptable.
Know Their Habits and Routine
If you are hired by a single family and need to be present on site every day, you must learn more about the family members, the elderly, and their habits. Ask questions to clear any discrepancies and avoid misunderstandings. This is particularly important if the senior suffers from any illness or cognitive issues. On the contrary, if you are working in an aged care accommodation, you can help them establish a routine that will keep them active and social throughout the day. You can still ask a few questions to build rapport and know what they like to design a schedule based on their habits and likings.
Network with Other Caregivers
If you are just starting out, talk to other experienced caregivers to get some expert tips on handling seniors. At times, asking questions to the elderly is not enough. You must follow your own intuition and care for them in an orderly fashion. Get advice from your senior caregivers and learn what can be done differently. You can join support groups where experienced caregivers share expert advice and tips that can help you in the long run. You can also connect to an expert on a one-to-one basis to solve specific issues. Most senior caregiver organizations and hospitals have such support groups; inquire at your local medical facility for the same.
This is particularly important when designing a schedule for the seniors. While giving them a routine to follow is wise, let them have their own space and allow them to do their own tasks as they wish. After all, an old age home is a place where they are allowed to be free and socialize. Unless the seniors do not know how to spend their entire day, let them follow their own routine and be present in their vicinity in case they need any help. Make sure that they are taking their medications and performing exercises daily.
Do Not Burn Out Physically and Financially
In the end, you must also care about your own physical, mental, and financial condition. At times, senior caregivers often forget to take care of themselves. Evaluate the amount of care and attention you can give to your senior while keeping your health at bay. Take proper care and time to eat nutritious food. Furthermore, caring for your own senior family member can put you in financial constraint. Reduce costs by looking into programs offered by NGOs and government organizations.
If you plan to apply as a senior caregiver, you must keep these tips in mind. Even if you are not supposed to be working as a caregiver, these tips can ensure that your elderly parents are at ease, comfortable, and happy where they live. Note that seniors are alone and feel lonely most of the time, so it is your duty to care for and communicate with the elderly in your life to keep them happy and satisfied.