When they have specific needs associated with the exponential aging of the population and dependencies linked to physical or mental deterioration, caring for older adults is an art.
Talking to older adults about their care needs can be difficult, but being prepared to speak can make it easier. Before you talk, introduce your concerns to other friends or family members close to the situation. This can give you different perspectives on what your loved one needs and can help you build a team of caregivers.
During the discussion, be open and honest about your concerns, but let the person know that what matters to you is his or her ongoing comfort and safety. Also, be aware of your own emotions and triggers that may cause you to react negatively. The elder is likely to feel something about this situation. On the other hand, the elder may have lived for many years without the help and may not want it. Involve the person in the discussion as much as possible; the key is for everyone to feel heard.
If things don’t go as planned, be prepared. The senior citizen may not want any help at all; in that case, you will have to make an arrangement (instead of hiring a home care aide, the loved one agrees to wear an emergency response pendant). You will probably have to talk about this issue again. If you see a lot of resistance, keep in mind to ask a physician or elder care manager for help. Web sites or caregiver-related support groups also give guidance and suggest ways to cope.
Many older people prefer to continue living at home as much as possible. Today, there are great possibilities to continue at home with the help of society and different types of home adaptations. Home care can help you with health care and services to continue to live at home.
It is important to note that the caregiving process is not only restricted to the healthcare field, as it also refers to the psychosocial dimension in the relationship between caregiver and person in need. For example, home caregivers will help you clean, shop at the supermarket, make your bed, take a shower or shave. They may also provide support in the evenings. If you suffer an illness or injury, a nurse may come to change your bandage or assist you with medication.
Therefore, the caregiver’s profile is that of a committed professional, with a feeling of empathy and a desire to act for the benefit of the care of the older adult—values that must be exercised in the decision-making faculty and the application of clinical knowledge.
Attitudes such as respect, listening, encouraging autonomy, or active aging should complement communication skills, decision making, managing responsibilities, stressors, or providing a broad spectrum of care. So now you know what to look for, you can write that “elder care near me” search now confidently.
There is also access to staff to help you with small arrangements, sometimes known as fixer service in some states. For example, fixer service staff may help you hang a picture or change curtains. Again, the goal is to prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves.