Taking on a new role as a primary caregiver is never easy. This is especially true when it involves taking care of an elderly loved one with special needs. What happens when you’re left with a senior to care for? How can you prepare yourself before embracing your new role?
One has tons of options when it comes to caring for seniors. Some would hire a caregiver that could assist their loved ones while they age in place. Some would consider taking their senior parent to a good assisted living facility in Phoenix, Arizona. For those who wish to keep their aging loved one close, they may choose to be the primary caregiver instead.
What can you do to prepare yourself as a new caregiver? The following are some of the things worth knowing:
Care is unique for every senior
Each senior has their own unique needs. Some only need help when it comes to taking their pills on time. Others will need you to drive for them as driving is no longer a safe chore. Others may require 24/7 senior care. What kind of care your elderly father requires may be totally different from that of your mother’s. Realize that every aging individual has different senior care needs that need to be met.
You must preserve their dignity
Offer some help and be open to the idea of them resisting your help. Seniors will try to do their best to retain their self-worth even if it means doing things that are now hard to achieve. Allow them to make decisions for themselves and always ask for their opinions. Only help when they need it. Try not to order them, but use suggestions instead. You’d want to help preserve their dignity as much as possible.
Seniors need their privacy
It is understandable that we only want what’s best for our loved ones. However, we often forget that they do value their privacy, as well. If they can still dress themselves and take a bath without much help, then allow them to do what they can still manage. Also, remember that you may be their confidant, but they still deserve some privacy. Remember that your role is to make their lives as comfortable as possible – but never to intrude.
Mental health should also be a priority
Most caregivers only focus on their senior’s physical health. As long as their patients are eating and taking their meds on time, are safe, and have no physical symptoms, they think that they have managed to do an excellent job. But mental health also matters.
Mental illness in seniors can be hard to detect. You may not know it if you find no signs of mental issues on your loved one. The good news is that effective treatments are available for seniors with mental illness. Know that it is also your duty to make sure that you care for their mental health as well.
If you’re suddenly entrusted with the role of a senior caregiver, then know that you’re not alone. Many others find themselves having to care for a senior loved one even if they have no knowledge and experience. There are things that you need to know to prepare yourself for your new role better.