If you’re providing care for a senior family member, it’s possible that you stumbled into the responsibility without having formal training: you saw the requirement, and gallantly stepped forward to meet it. Yet, at Regency Home Care, comprehensive training is provided to each of our professional in-home caregivers before they are fully equipped to safely and effectively take care of seniors. Through our efforts to encourage family caregivers, we’ve detailed a few of the crucial skills necessary to be the best possible family in home caregiver.
Nutrition: Ensuring adequate nutrition for the elderly can be challenging. Medication side effects can lead food to be less enjoyable. Chewing and swallowing issues can be an issue. And loneliness or depression can have a major impact on appetite. In fact, senior malnutrition is becoming more and more prevalent in older adults, and is not as easy as observing whether or not a senior has lost weight. Talk to the senior’s physician or a dietitian to create a nutrition plan; and, be certain the senior’s fluid intake (particularly plain water) is sufficient – at least 8 to 10 glasses of fluid each day.
Infection Control: Being in close contact with someone through providing personal care boosts the risk for spreading viral and bacterial infections. The best defense against infection is always keeping your hands clean. Even if using protective gloves, hands should still be washed carefully with soap and warm water, both before you apply and after removing gloves.
Communicating: Chatting with your older family member may seem second nature, but there are lots of key considerations that can help the person feel more relaxed and to prevent damaging the person’s self-esteem. Older adults should always be spoken to in a polite manner – never being patronizing or demeaning. Asking open-ended questions and allowing the senior sufficient opportunity to answer completely without interrupting, are also important communication recommendations. And if the person has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, try to avoid correcting the person, especially if the topic being discussed boosts emotional responses like agitation or aggression.
Documenting: Retaining good records of any changes noted in the older adult’s condition, and providing specifics to the medical team as soon as possible, is paramount to making sure your loved one has all the information necessary to tackle any possible issues. Note dates, times, and as many details as possible – physical changes including increased pain, numbness, swelling, etc., along with any changes in attitude and mood.
Want more advice from our fully trained and highly skilled care team, or a partner in care to provide hands-on help for your senior family member? We’re here to partner with family caregivers in Roswell, GA, and other areas near Atlanta, to make certain seniors receive the highest possible quality of care all of the time. Call Regency Home Care at (678) 999-2446 or contact us online to find out more about our Roswell home care services.