How can you provide the best possible elderly care? You’ll find a wealth of information on best practices regarding home care for the elderly, from ways to communicate with the patient to ensuring their safety. Those are all important, but there’s one thing that can be considered equally important, though it doesn’t merit the same amount of attention all the time.
That has to do with caring for yourself when you’re providing elder care services.
It might not come at you in some strong, overwhelming symptom where you know that you’re being overwhelmed with the level of care that you can, and should, be providing to the elderly patient. It could build slowly over time. It’s akin to losing weight, gaining muscle, or taking part in any activity that produces gradual results.
Yet when it comes to elderly care, when you become stressed out about the amount of time that you’re spending with the patient, or the energy that you’re devoting to their care, your body or mind may hint at the prospect of becoming overwhelmed.
Whenever you feel stressed out from the care that you’re providing, it’s important to address it. You can ignore it and claim that there’s nothing you can do about it at the moment, but that’s not true. There’s always something that you can do to help yourself –and the elderly individual for whom you’re caring- when you’re becoming stressed.
Take time out from elderly care when you need to.
“But I can’t possibly take time out,” you might say. Why not? Because you’re the only person who is there to support the patient? Maybe it’s your mother or father or grandparent. Maybe it’s a neighbor. It might be a stranger and this is your job.
The most important aspect about being an elderly care provider is to ensure that the patient gets the best care possible. When you’re overwhelmed, over-burdened, stressed, or not feeling 100 percent, then the elderly patient simply isn’t going to be getting the best care possible. No matter what you think you’re doing, no matter how great you think you’re being as a caregiver, if you are stressed, tired, worn out, you cannot possibly provide the highest level of care.
Hire an elder care provider for a few hours a day, or a couple of days a week, or for a week or two; someone to work with the patient so you can get the break you need to come back and provide the highest level of care possible. When you put elderly care ahead of your own ego, pride, or sense of obligation, you end up putting the patient first, and that’s where they deserve to be from the outset.