5 Tips For New Caregivers

June 17th, 2013

1. Be patient. It’s important to be patient with elderly people. When you walk with them, don’t walk at the pace you normally walk at, slow down your pace and politely ask if they would like your help.

2. Be Respectful. Show respect by giving them their space and privacy when they want it. If they are in need of assistance in the bathroom, make sure to help them but also be sure to close the door when they are going to the bathroom. The same rule applies, treat others how you would like to be treated.

3. Get to know them and their family. It is important that you understand the elderly person’s needs, interests, and background. It doesn’t mean you have to do a huge background check on them but its important to understand who that person is and what type of care and assistance you can provide them. Every person is different after all. Also, getting to know their family is important. Often times the family will provide much needed insight on some of the concerns or can let you know more of the things they like to do.

4. Earn their trust. Trust is something that I found to be extremely important as a caregiver. Like any relationship, you earn trust over time with them and that usually happens though a mutual love and respect relationship.

5. Be Gentle. Its important to be gentle with older people. This might sound like commonsense but you would be amazed at how many times you hear of elderly people who were handled without care and were hurt in the process.

5 Tips To Get Older Adults Active

June 17th, 2013

1. Find something their interested and build around it. Just like starting any new activity, its important to understand the interests of the elderly person and center activity around their interests. For example, if the person is interested in reading, encourage them to talk a walk where you both can read somewhere outdoors. This will provide some much needed exercise while still allowing them to enjoy it.

2. Walking is still the best low-impact exercise. Walking is still one of the best low-impact exercises for older adults. Looks for creative ways to encourage more walking throughout their day.

3. Swim if possible. When it comes to the king of low-impact exercises, swimming is still the best. Although finding a place or time to swim isn’t as practical as walking, swimming still provides a number of health benefits.

4. Do Gardening. Gardening is another activity that is low-impact but is often both fun and provides some exercise.

5. Social classes. Look for some community activities that provide low-impact exercise such as dancing. This will benefit them by providing them the health benefits as well as the much needed social interaction with others.

5 Tips To Communicate With Elderly People

June 17th, 2013

1. Be aware of the environment your communicating in. Look at the surroundings, are you communicating in a noisy area with lots of distractions or people around? Its best if you can move to an area with less noise as many elderly people speak softer and have difficulty hearing as well.

2. Make eye contact and speak clearly. It’s very important to look them in the eye and to pronounce your words clearly. This doesn’t mean you have to annunciate your words where its obvious your doing it. That will only give them the impression that you are talking down to them. Instead, speak clearly and maintain good eye contact throughout the conversation so they know you are someone who is interested and trustworthy.

3. Use audio or visual aids. If an elderly person has difficulty hearing or seeing, visual or audio aids can help. Sometimes I would simply point to certain objects to provide the ‘bridge’ so they could understand what I was referring to or what I was trying to say.

4. Be aware of the person’s health issues. If an elderly person has a health issue its important to understand what they are, what symptoms and concerns they might have, and what type of assistance they might need as a result of those health issues.

5. Ask precise questions. Its important to ask clear and specific questions to elderly people in order to understand the specific information that you are asking. General questions often lead to more general answers and can also confuse them.

Top 5 Ways To Care For an Elderly Person

June 17th, 2013

1. It’s important to ask what they want to eat. Its normal for people’s appetites to gradually reduce as they get older and often times it becomes even more crucial that Elderly people are getting enough food and the proper nutrition.

2. Play games with them. When I was a caregiver I would often ask what games they liked to play and it became a great starting point in developing a relationship with them. It also engaged them mentally which is beneficial as elderly people have less stimulation throughout their day.

3. Read to them. I have found that many elderly people are unable to read anymore but still enjoy going through a book with a caregiver or loved one.

4. Listen to them and ask how they feel. Listening is critical in any relationship but its even more important for elderly people because many of them often have a hard time asking for help. This means that you must be diligent in listening closely to their verbal and non-verbal body language. Also, often times by just asking them they will give you an answer.

5. Treat them with respect and love. This in my opinion is the basis helping care for elderly people. When you show that you genuinely care, that you are trying your best to help and support them, they often respond lovingly back which always puts a smile on your face and theirs.