Senior Care: Top 5 Caregiving Tips

Jennifer D
26 Oct 2021

Choosing to care for older adults at home or putting them in a nursing home are both great options, but whatever you do, you would know that taking care of older adults is one of the strenuous jobs to do. You can choose the option that is best sustainable for you, depending on your pocket and comfortability. Can you take care of an older adult, work, take care of your kids if you have, and attend to other areas of your life? You are only a human being, and we would teach you five tips to help you take care of any older adult and not risk burning out.


Monitor your parents closely

Whether the older adult is a parent or anyone else, you should try to monitor their care closely. If you believe you won't have time to give them all the care needed, you should find care providers that include home services as a part of their services. Caring for an older adult isn't always only giving them calls to check up on them and assess how they are thriving from their conversations. Many of them would hide challenges they are facing due to reasons like

  • They do not want to trouble you.
  • They are worried if anyone would care for them the way they want.
Senior Care: Top 5 Caregiving Tips

Don't expect them to share everything with you. To curb situations like this, you should have them close to you; they will believe there is someone they can always share everything with and care about them. You should learn about signs that your parents show when they need assistance to live at home safely. You might miss out on these signs if you have a lot on your plate, such as work, taking care of your kids, other extracurricular activities, etc. Examples of characters your parents might show are

  1. They have lost weight: They might have lost the stamina to go to markets by themselves and the appetite to eat, especially if they are in-house adults. What you can do for them is provide support financially, and food delivery to their homes would go a long way.
  2. They don't take care of themselves like they used to: Activities as simple as brushing their teeth, taking a shower before going to their jobs, shaving, etc. They might forget to do all of it. Hygiene is one of the biggest problems faced when adults start to face challenges with their cognitive system and when they start to feel lonely. Some might start bed wetting, and it would be a struggle to clean up their mess, so what you can do is get incontinence briefsfor them to wear every night.
  3. The house is not arranged: A scattered home is unsafe for anyone to talk to older adults. Your usually neat parents don't care how the house looks; you should know something is up. You can hire a housekeeper that will come over to clean the house weekly.

Adult care education

To do anything new right, you have to take time out to learn it. You should know about adult care first before giving out care to an older adult. This would help you weigh your options and make the best decision regarding your parents. You should consider more of the latest practices and technologies designed to prove the areas concerning senior caregiving. It could be an app or device; for example, an older adult face-timing through skype with their doctors instead of visiting the hospital in person. You should also learn about what to do when your parents have dementia or any other health condition.

Senior Care: Top 5 Caregiving Tips

Another solution you should consider is asking for help. If you are the only child of your parents, it might be pretty challenging to get assistance, but if you have siblings and close relatives to whom your parents ate close, you should ask for help. Families are different, so are situations; in some families, everyone takes responsibility without being asked, but you have to ask in some. Some families take turns; each child gets to watch over the parent for at least three months or it works for them. This would make your life easier, and you could also use some caregiving tips from them.

Be realistic

Before accepting the responsibility, which in some cases you don't have a choice other than to take responsibility, you have to weigh your options. How much can you do by yourself that won't affect your mental and physical health? In this case, you can develop a list to help you paint a picture of what you need to do. You can analyze each item and classify each based on your strengths from the list you have created. Can you afford a house care provider? Or can you afford to take care of another person right now? These are the things you should consider when you are analyzing the list. Remember that you can't help anyone if you burn out, so be as realistic as possible. Another option you can consider is having someone (i.e., trusted neighbor, matured children) around who can take care of an older adult while you are not there. While taking care of an older adult, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. Start care early: Don't wait until their health has deteriorated or till they have lost stamina before you begin the care process. Once you start seeing aging signs, it is time to start thinking of the necessary steps so you do have to do so much later on. You should also discuss the subject with them, would they want to be put in a nursing home or prefer a home care service. Let them know how serious you are about the topic when discussing it to have more impact. They might not agree at first, but it is your job to make them see reason.
  2. Patience: In case you start taking care of your parents at a later time, you would need to exercise patience because they are now old, and it may get frustrating, which is why we advised you should weigh your options before taking up the responsibility by yourself.

Get assistance where need be

You might be attached to you taking care of your loved one to the extent of burning out while taking care of them, but you should always keep it at the back of your mind that there is only so much you can do. The best thing to do is find the perfect caregiving service that provides home services too. Although you might feel it would be stressful to find one, it will be worth it at the end of the day, especially if you have more than enough money to take care of your parents. It would save you a lot of time and stress. This is where your list comes to play, find a service provider that provides services related to what is on the tour list. Below we listed ideas you can have in your plan.

  • An adult day program for your parents/loved ones. This would help them socialize and help you get to rest.
  • Home caregiving service providers to help you relax your mind while you are away.
  • You can find a senior friend that can keep your parent company. You can also try out an old volunteer program in your area.
  • Constant check-up.
  • Making food for them, laying their beds, and taking care of their general personal hygiene reduces any stress your loved one has to endure.
Senior Care: Top 5 Caregiving Tips

Financial sustainability

Except you already have more than enough money to pay for the expenses that come with taking care of an older adult and hiring a caregiving service, you have to cut down on costs. Or you can start looking for multiple sources of income aside from your job; you could have a side hustle. You should also find out insurance options available to you as a caregiver.

Conclusion

We have covered five tips you can try out as someone who has a senior adult to take care of. Which of these tips was the most useful, and which are you considering implementing?

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Jennifer D