Caring for the elderly covers a variety of work that will depend on the elder person's disability, the living conditions, and the over-all situation. Caring for someone who is bed ridden with cancer, for example, may require less work than caring for someone with Alzheimer's Disease. But nevertheless, being tasked to take care of a person with needs is most definitely daunting and thankless. It really takes someone with a lot of selfless commitment and dedication to continue doing this day after day. The person who has this responsibility is known as the caregiver. This person may be part of the family or is actually paid to do it as her job.
Below are some guides to help you become an effective caregiver for the elderly:
- Make proper arrangements with the family. Will you be living in the same house as the person you will take care of, or will you be commuting from your place to theirs every day? Decide on an arrangement that would be most convenient for you. Remember that you don't need the extra stress, when you must have most of your energy focused on someone else.
- Examine if you would need to make changes to your elderly’s room now and then, to make your work more efficient. Check for equipment that she may need and make sure to have these conveniently around the house, such as a ramp, a portable toilet or a wheelchair. If you may need to sleep in the same room, will this be big enough to accommodate two people, including your stuff?
- Have a list or a record of your patient handy. Keep a medical journal if possible, writing down all the medications and prescriptions your patient is required to take, the frequency of it and the quantity of it. List down any type of information that will be useful to doctors or in case of emergency. This may include details like her birthday, insurance information, her social security number, her list of doctors and next of kin with their contact details.
- Baby monitors are so effective even for the elderly, so use one.
- Make your task easier by getting organized. Laundry, cleaning and other chores must not get in the way of baths, exercise and feeding time of your elderly. Good daily planning will make you become more efficient.
- If your elderly is capable of socializing or can still move about, give her something to do once in a while. You can bake together, or fold clothes together. Any simple task that will help her move her muscles, will be healthy for her. If you want to go with a bigger idea, organize some kind of an activity with other people at home, like a game of chess or bridge.
- Do take time to do what you enjoy also. While this may be a demanding task, you are not superhuman. You also need to take a break once in a while. Learn to delegate when you need to take a breather.
This is a noble thing you are doing for someone else. Be rewarded in the knowledge that your efforts will pay-off when the time comes that you may need this type of care and you’ve found yourself an excellent caregiver.