Do you live with an elderly loved one? If so, you’re likely well aware of the wishes most seniors have to age in place. In last week’s blog, we highlighted how stair lifts meet the needs of Canadian seniors who wish to age in place. As practically vital as they are to the health and well-being of older adults and people with disabilities, stair lifts are just one piece of a large caregiving puzzle.
Here are three helpful tips for caregivers living with older adults:
1. Don’t be afraid to set some boundaries.
Most of us want to do all we can to care for the people we love. We can, however, get a bit caught up in trying to do too much. This isn’t always fruitful. If your elderly loved one is asking you to do more than you can handle, it’s important that you speak up. Set certain boundaries so that your care recipient is well aware of what are willing and not willing to do. Be sure to communicate that it is in his/her best interests to do some things independently.
“Healthy emotional boundaries are important in helping a caregiver distinguish between their own needs and those of the person being cared for,” notes Carol Bradley Bursack on AgingCare.com, “Boundaries remind both of you that you are adults and that there must be expectations of mutual respect and autonomy for your relationship to be successful.”
2. Never neglect your own health.
Some caregivers are so wrapped up in the care needed by their elderly loved ones that they forget to care for themselves. It isn’t possible to provide optimum care if you aren’t in good health yourself. Make it a point to always ensure you are eating nutritious meals, regularly exercising and keeping a positive attitude. Let it be clear that your mental health is as important as your physical well-being.
As Rosemarie Tamunday Casanova of Right Accord Private Duty-Home Health Care insists, a caregiver must care for himself/herself. “This includes getting sleep, eating regularly, maintaining relationships with others, exercising, participating in hobbies, and other healthy activities,” she details, “A huge amount of caregivers are known to have higher possibilities of acquiring illness while caring for others. If you do become ill, who will take care of the elder in the family?”
3. Suggest a trial run.
Coming up with a comprehensive plan to care for your elderly loved one isn’t an exact science. It will take some trial and error to know precisely what your best course of action should be. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open so that your care recipient feels comfortable expressing what he/she likes and dislikes. Remember that many seniors are often hesitant, at first, to receive any care at all.
“Don’t ask your loved one to make a final decision about the kind of care he or she receives right away,” advises Mayo Clinic, “A trial run will give a hesitant loved one a chance to test the waters and experience the benefits of assistance.”
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we care deeply about the health and well-being of seniors. If you have any questions about our Home Healthcare Products and Home Modification Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800. You may also email us at [email protected]. As well, you can contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!