September 09, 2017 in: Top 6 Things that Should Not Be Done by a Senior Caregiver,
A caregiver knows more about the person they take care of than their children. As a person ages, they go through significant changes such as mood swings, difficult behavior, and personality changes. A caregiver experiences firsthand the troubles senior citizens face. They have the front row street where they see their patients spiral into one problem after another.
In times like this, it’s natural for a caregiver to become a little attached to the patient. Where some senior caregivers like to have a personal touch in the care they provide, others like to keep a safe distance and work professionally. No matter what kind of care is given, there are certain rules that a caregiver must not break. Due to the delicacy of the situation, a single wrong word can do untold damage. Here are the top six things that a senior caregiver should not do:
1. Don’t Force Them into Giving Up Their Freedom
For senior citizens, freedom can be anything from watching late night TV shows, eating different types of food or holding on to their car keys. As a caregiver, it is your job to keep them away from harm’s way. When talking about their health and safety in terms of freedom, never argue. Talk gently and present your reasoning, so that they can understand where you are coming from. A great way to tackle this problem is by making them believe that this is about “you”, not them. For example, in terms of car keys, you can explain to them how you will be hurt if something happened to them while they were driving.
2. Do Not Contradict Them
As people age, they lose track of time and often start forgetting things. This can be a huge problem if the caregiver starts contradicting everything they say. It requires a lot of patience and all you need to do is gently pacify them or nod with them. The more open they are to your suggestions, the more they will follow you. So, make them believe that “you” believe them and all will be well.
3. Do Not Be a Super Caregiver
It’s completely understandable that a caregiver cannot do everything. If you feel like you need to take a break, then do so because when you get overstressed, that is when mishaps usually happen. Why burden yourself with guilt afterward when you can take a small break for a little while? Despite what people say, senior citizens are very understanding and are more sympathetically connected to their caregivers. You can always sit down for a while and have a little chat with your patient before performing your duties again.
4. Don’t Hide From Your Patient
Just because the person you are taking care of is your patient does not mean you cannot share your feelings with them. By talking about your hardships and struggles with them, you can make your relationship with the patient stronger.
5. Do Not Isolate Yourself Because of Your Patient
Studies have linked that a little time out can benefit a senior citizen physically and mentally. So, don’t get housebound! Every day, take your patient out for an evening stroll and get some fresh air yourself.
6. Do Not Hide Anything from the Patient and Their Family
It’s important to take care of problems ahead of time especially when it comes to senior citizens. When things about their health and life are hidden from them, they can become angry. Therefore, no matter how small the change, first tell the family members, and then the patient.
As a caregiver, you should always be upfront in any situation you face. It requires having a lot of patience and willpower to handle a person you know will prove to be a challenge as they age. These six tips will definitely help you become a better caregiver on an emotional and physical level.