You may have begun to notice your parent or loved one in need of additional help from time to time. Whether it be medication management or improving their safety after a fall, it’s clear that your loved could improve their quality of life with a helping hand. Caregiving for your loved one can seem daunting, but there are plenty of resources to help you succeed and offer the compassionate care your loved one needs. To start, take a look at a few tips when becoming a caregiver for a family member.
Helpful Tips for Taking Care of Elderly Parents
- Choose the caregiver role out of love. While you may feel a sense of familial obligation when it comes to caring for your aging parent, choose the caregiving role out of love and not duty. This is because when it really comes down to it, caregiving is a choice that you make. Have patience with yourself and remember that although there will be times where you are not perfect, you are choosing this role out of love and wanting the best for your parent.
- Communicate. Open communication is key to any healthy relationship, but it is especially important to keep in mind when becoming a caregiver to an aging parent. Opening that line of communication will offer both you and your loved one an accepting environment where you both feel comfortable expressing your feelings. Be sure that you’re both not only talking to each other, but also listening and understanding what each other is saying.
- Ask questions and educate yourself. In order to be a better advocate for your loved one, take the time to learn more about your role as a caregiver, as well as, the health conditions you will be caring for. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you’ll be when it comes to compassionate care.
- Take time for your own needs. “Compassion fatigue” is common and happens when caregivers become burnt out in their roles of consistent care for someone else. Of course, you want to offer the best care for your parent, but you also need to take time for yourself to relax and recharge. Set aside time in the day for a relaxing activity, whether that be meditation, enjoying a quiet cup of coffee or reading a book to unwind from the day.
- Know when it’s time to ask for help. Sometimes a loved one’s care can exceed your time or abilities – and that’s okay. There are plenty of options to offer additional care for your loved one, including home care services or even a move to a senior living community.
Helpful Tips for Dementia Caregivers
If your loved one is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, you understand that caregiving can involve even greater intricacies. These additional tips for dementia caregivers can help you in your caregiver role and ensure your loved one is living as healthy of a lifestyle as they possibly can.
- Speak simply. Asking open-ended questions or offering too much detail can overwhelm your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Allow your parent to have some control over the pace of the conversation and focus more on questions that can be answered “yes” or “no.”
- Offer a peaceful environment. Clutter is not only a tripping hazard, but it can overwhelm a person with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Make sure the environment your loved one is primarily living in is clean and filled with only the items they love most.
- Practice patience. There will be times when you both become overwhelmed and anxious. This is especially true for your loved one, who is going through both emotional and mental pressure. Focus more on the positives in life and be aware of when you’re losing your patience or getting frustrated. When these moments occur, take a deep breath before responding to them or step out of the room for a moment or two alone.
Discover Compassionate Caregiving for Seniors at Ventana by Buckner
At Ventana by Buckner, a Life Plan Community in Dallas, we want our Members and their family members to feel at ease knowing no matter what level of care is needed, there will be access to it. If your loved one is in need of a senior living community to suit their growing healthcare needs, know that they will be cared for safely, their needs will be met and they will be treated with dignity and respect at Ventana. Contact us today to learn more or click on this link to schedule your personal tour of our community.