4 Tips for Caring for Seniors

By on September 3, 2020
Caring

Many older people would prefer to age in their own homes as opposed to living in an assisted living facility. Who can blame them? Caring for them at home means that they’re able to stay where they feel comfortable and are familiar with their neighbors and surroundings. It also means that often either an adult child will begin to care for them or they’ll hire a caregiver to handle it. Here’s a quick look at some tips that can help when you become the adult child caring for them.

DME and Communication 

DME means “durable medical equipment,” and many seniors need at least a bit. It might be a simple home oxygen concentrator or something much more complex. You’ll need to learn how to use this equipment as well as what to do in the event that something happens to it. You’ll also need to have a backup power supply ready in the event the power goes out. If your senior needs any type of equipment, have a long conversation with the doctor so you can learn everything you need to know about it.

If you’ve hired a caregiver to care for your senior, make sure that they’re well versed in any of the medical equipment that might be necessary. You’ll also need to ensure that you have an open line of communication with them. Maintaining open lines of communication between family members, the patient, and the caregiver is critical for everyone involved.

Nutrition

Many people might not realize just how important nutrition is when it comes to taking care of seniors. However, a combination of fatigue and medical issues can make it difficult when it comes to ensuring that patients who are elderly get all of the nutrients that are essential for them. 

Side effects of certain medications can cause them to lose their appetite or can make any type of food less appealing. As people age, coordination with things like chewing and swallowing can become difficult too. Also, some people will simply become stubborn or agitated and refuse to eat from time to time.

Monitor their weight and have regular consultations with their doctor. You might need a nutrition plan. Meanwhile, ensure that they’re at least getting enough fluids so they don’t become dehydrated.

Spreading Germs

These days, knowing how to keep a dwelling free from germs is more important than ever. When it comes to caring for aging family members though, it’s equally important to care for yourself as well. Cutting down on the number of germs that are spread will keep both you and your patient healthier.

Simple things such as washing your hands frequently or wearing gloves can be a tremendous help. You should also ensure that the bedding of the patient remains dry and clean. If it’s necessary, keep that mask on your face even when you’re in the senior’s house.

Respect

One large mistake that people tend to make when taking on the role of caregiver is that they fail to respect the wishes of their aging family members. It can be a simple thing to just fall into a routine with their daily care. Things like scheduling doctors’ appointments, administering meds, giving baths, and handling meals can all become rote quickly.

Yes, these are critical tasks, but you still need to remember that a patient is still a person with thoughts and feelings regarding their situation and care. Ask them what their feelings are about their treatment. Explain what you do and NEVER talk about them like they’re not even in the room with you. 

When all is said and done, caring for seniors has to do with compassion, patience, and a lot of communication.

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4 Tips for Caring for Seniors