Most adults don’t plan on becoming senior caregivers. They just slowly transition into the role after an aging loved one has a serious illness or fall. And while there is no handbook for becoming a caregiver or even defining what a caregiver is, it’s a role that many adults find themselves in at some point.
Approximately 39.8 million caregivers provide care to adults in the U.S. This means you’re never alone in your journey. Finding support, seeking help, and taking advice from professionals are the best ways to find success in a caregiver role. Below are some valuable tips for caregivers that will help make things a little easier.
8 Tips for Caregivers You Should Start Using
If you have kids, you probably remember that as a caregiver you had some guidance. There were milestones children hit as they grew, and it gave you a clear sense of direction. When it comes to caregiving for the elderly, things are not defined in this way. Every senior is different, and so being a caregiver for them is a unique experience.
Use these caregiver tips to help you make practical changes to the way you approach caregiving for a more successful and positive outcome.
- Be More Flexible — It can be challenging to deal with the changing mood, mobility, personality and needs of your loved one. Being flexible regarding your loved one’s needs is important to make them feel comfortable and to help you manage stress.
- Ask for Help — This is one of the hardest but most important things you can do as a caregiver. Create a schedule that includes others pitching in, so you can give yourself a break while also providing consistency for your loved one.
- Maintain Communication — When you become a caregiver, it’s easy to get caught up in your “job” and forget to communicate with your loved one. Make time to connect with your loved one and have fun.
- Create Relationships with Health Care Providers — Having open lines of communication with your loved one’s doctors is one of the best caregiver tips. It’s a good way to stay up to date on medications, appointments, and any issues that arise.
- Set a Schedule — Consistency is key when it comes to managing your loved one’s health. Set a routine that they can depend on. It will eliminate surprises and make them feel more comfortable with the daily routine.
- Plan Mealtimes — It’s best to plan out mealtimes in advance. Eating at a consistent time each day helps aid digestion, allows them to take medicine consistently, and ensures they are keeping up with their nutrition goals.
- Plan Exercise into Each Day — Keeping your loved ones active is great for their mental and physical health. Bring them with you to run errands and go for walks, and/or invest in at-home equipment.
- Consider Getting Training — Another thing that will make you more confident as a caregiver is being prepared for anything. Consider taking CPR classes or other senior health classes to build your self-esteem and enhance your caregiver skills.
Becoming a caregiver to an aging loved one is unlike any other job you’ll ever have. It’s unfamiliar, frustrating and stressful, but also rewarding. Use these caregiver tips to help overcome some of the obstacles associated with caring for the elderly and make it the best experience possible.
Find the Help You Need as a Caregiver from Heritage Senior Living
When your loved one’s health declines, it can sometimes be too much for you to handle alone. At Heritage Senior Living, we understand the burden on caregivers to support aging family members. Our approach is unique. Our full-time licensed nurses and 24/7 staff ensure residents receive the ongoing care and support they need while still allowing them to maintain as much independence as they want. Let us help you start the conversation with your loved one. Contact us today to learn more about our senior living options and to schedule a tour.