Taking care of elderly people can be a challenge. I decided one day that it would be something I enjoyed doing. I had plenty of experience taking care of my mother and uncle when they were unable to take care of themselves. It is a very fulfilling and rewarding job. So, when I decided to try care giving as a career I had to do some research and learn a few things. Most of it was by observing and getting to know each patient on a personal level. Here are a few great tips that can make care giving a great experience for both the patient and the caregiver.
I can never say this enough! Making your patient comfortable and happy should be your first priority. This should be done with tenderness, caring and love.You must make sure as a caregiver your patient is fed well nourished meals, medications are given and good hygiene is practiced each day. Remember they are not always going to be in a good mood, due to age, illness and sadness from not being able to take care of themselves. Try to encourage a positive mood each day. When it comes time for general duties like bathing and eating let them do what they can. For instance if they are taking a bath in bed, let them wash their face and maybe put on some lotion on their arms. When eating, try different types of finger foods they can feed themselves. Sippy cups work great for shaky hands. Just doing those little things will give them some sense of independence.
Having activities planned will also help boost their spirits. Plan something each day. For instance, Monday can be a day to read about birds. Or watch a movie about birds. You can be the judge on what each patient can handle and what they can do. I had a patient whose eyesight was going, so i read to her. You can also check out books from the library that have great big pictures that they might be able to see. The library is a great place to find great things to do with your patient. They have many great books, movies and Cd’s. Bring the outdoors in! Check out Cd’s on different nature sounds. If your patient is not able to get outside, plan a day at the beach indoors. Bring in some seashells and sand and let them touch and experience. Put on a Cd of dolphin and oceans sounds. This gives them some sense of experiencing life. When most people hit a certain age they love to reminisce about the past. Encourage plenty of story telling time about the good times and wonderful experiences they had in life.