If you are one of the estimated 65 million people in the United States who is caring for a senior loved one, you know caregiving is full of both rewards and challenges. As you continue to care for your senior loved one, you will learn tricks and tips to make the journey easier. Avoiding the following five mistakes can help you become a better caregiver and help your loved one receive the best care possible.
1. Not Including Your Loved One in Decisions
Loss of independence is one of the most challenging aspects of growing older. As your loved one ages, losing the ability to drive, cook, and care for him or herself could cause depression. Include your loved one in as many decisions as possible to prevent him or her from becoming frustrated. Let your loved one choose what to eat, what to wear, and what activities to do each day to help him or her feel involved and included.
Many seniors need help performing the tasks of daily living. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Omaha Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
2. Not Making a Care Plan
Many people jump right into caregiving without talking with their senior loved one about expectations. Sit down with your loved one and communicate about what he or she needs help with, make a basic daily schedule, and ask about any preferences he or she has. For example, your loved one may need help with bathing but would prefer an outside caregiver help with intimate needs rather than a family member.
If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional home care, Omaha Home Care Assistance should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years.
3. Modifying Medications
According to an article published in American Nurse Today, 44 percent of men and 57 percent of women over the age of 65 take at least five medications per week. Some seniors have difficulty taking medications, and caregivers may be tempted to crush the pills and put them in food or cut them in half so they can be taken at different times. However, a senior’s body metabolizes medications differently than a younger person. Modifying medications may cause them to be absorbed too fast or slow, which could harm your loved one. Ask your loved one’s doctor if a medication can be cut in half, given in a smaller dose, or prescribed in liquid form before modifying.
4. Not Taking Time for Yourself
Caring for a senior while balancing a job, family, and household responsibilities can be incredibly challenging. Not taking time for yourself could cause caregiver burnout. Ask family members or friends for help caring for your loved one, or consider hiring outside caregiving services for one day each week to rejuvenate yourself.
5. Making Promises
You may have promised to your loved one that you will care for him or her for as long as possible. However, no one knows what the future holds. Making promises regarding your loved one’s future could strain your relationship and make you feel guilt over the choices you make.
Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Omaha families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation. Call Home Care Assistance at (402) 261-5158 to schedule a free in-home consultation today.