You’re caring for a family member who has reached an age where they can longer fully care for her. It’s great that you are willing to provide this level of care and service for them, but you aren’t satisfied with just being there for them; you want to be the best elder care provider you can be.
Here are a few tips that can help you offer the best elder care services possible, given your time constraints and responsibilities to other people, such as your own children, spouse, or boss.
- Develop a schedule. There are going to be any number of varying needs that your elderly loved one requires. He or she may need to go to the doctor’s office several times a month, they may need checkups, or they might need to get prescriptions filled relatively regularly. It’s important that you have a schedule written out and one that you will follow. There’s no use in developing a schedule and then ignoring it or forgetting to use it.
- Know what he or she needs. Every person’s needs are different. While you may have helped an aunt or grandparent cope with their life as they aged and wanted to stay living at home, what they needed from you may be much different than what your mother or father need at the moment. Make sure that you not only observe but also what they say. If they have trouble cooking meals, they may still want to, but can’t open cans or jars. Develop a system that allows them the full independence they can get and that doesn’t overstep your bounds.
- Take care of yourself. This is one of the most repeated, yet important, aspects of providing elder care to a loved one: you absolutely need to take care of yourself. When you’re running around, commuting to your job, taking care of your own family and other responsibilities and also tending to the needs of an aging loved one, it’s easy to neglect your own health and well-being. However, if you don’t take care of yourself, you could find yourself being rundown and worn out, getting sick and then putting your aging loved one at risk as well as creating more problems for yourself.
You’ll do no one any good if you are running yourself ragged and can no longer take care of anyone.
When you follow these three simple tidbits of advice, you will become the best elderly care provider that you can be and you’ll also offer a high level of assistance to the person who needs it.