Taking care of an elderly person – Top Tips
Taking care of someone who has complex needs or working as a night carer is not equal working as an elderly carer. You might haven’t worked with elderly people yet but there could be times when you need to. We give you some tips on how to deal with them and what to look out for.
Taking care of an elderly person means you need to pay special attention. Your routine will include everyday tasks like dressing up, preparing meals, eating together and making sure they are taking their medicines and also going out for a walk or do some kind of exercises.
To give them something extra that will make a difference in their life, read on and see our top tips.
When it comes to communication, you need to be patient with your patients. They are not young anymore and they might have some hearing issues too.
Try to speak slowly and don’t ask complicated questions. The question should be simple and direct. For example, instead of asking “How are you?” ask “Are you feeling all right today?” or “Are you tired?” They are easier YES or NO questions to answer to.
Looking into their eyes and calling them on their names can give you, as a carer an assurance that they understand what you are saying or asking them to do.
You can encourage a conversation easier if you touch their hands, so they know you want something.
Let’s be honest, the young generation can forget about how important exercising is and just push it to the following day.
Imagine it, how hard it could be for an elderly person. But in their case, it’s even more important to do any sorts of exercises during the week, 2-3 times as a minimum.
How to encourage them to do them?
The exercise can be as simple as letting them help with the household cleaning, go to the store to do the grocery shopping.
It doesn’t have to be a walk that takes hours, just a small one in the park where they can get some fresh air.
Of course, there are plenty of other options you can choose from. But they are most probably need to be paid for. As a carer, you just try to encourage them to do a little bit of activity every day.
Bathing and getting them dressed
This can be a sensitive topic to step into for you as a carer and for your patients too. They can be embarrassed that someone else needs to do it because they are not capable of it anymore. Be empathetic and understand how they feel.
As a starter, set a bathing schedule that meets their needs. The environment should be peaceful and keep the conversation natural.
When bathing someone, it’s really important to check for safety hazards. The bathroom gives a perfect opportunity for a fall. Don’t look over things that you know wouldn’t give any problem to you! You might won’t fall over a towel that lays on the floor but it could lead to an accident when you are with an elderly person.
There are plenty of other things to look out when being an elderly carer but we only collected the most important and common ones.
These things will come naturally once you have experience. Of course, it depends on the person you are looking after as well.
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