Providing personal care for a loved one in your home can be both rewarding and challenging. Because their needs and routines differ from yours, providing care assistance doesn’t always come as naturally as you might guess. We hope these care tips for seniors make it a little easier on you and your loved one.
Stick to routines
To the extent possible, stick to the routines that your loved one established before they needed help. Routines can bring comfort, prevent disagreements, and give your loved one a sense of control over their lives in a time when they often feel as if they have little.
Bathe less often
Although you might bathe every day, oil production decreases as you age. For this reason, older adults don’t need to shower as often. In fact, showering every day can dry out their skin, leading to itching, rashes, and cracks in the skin. Instead, wash the peri area (bottom) every day and encourage a full shower or bath a couple of times a week. Follow with thorough drying – especially in areas where skin comes into contact with skin like between the toes and under belly folds – and follow with lotion.
It’s important that you allow your loved one to do the things they can do, even if it takes them longer than it would take you. For example, perhaps they need a little help getting into a shirt but can button it themselves with patience; encourage them to button the shirt. This independence again gives them control over some aspects of their lives and helps them stay independent by keeping their muscles and joints working to the extent possible.
Allow for decision-making
Give your loved one the opportunity to make decisions about his or her care. For example, hold up two outfits in the morning and encourage them to choose the one they’d like to wear. At dinner time, even if you’re responsible for buying the groceries and preparing the meal, you can give your loved one a couple of options and ask which they’d prefer.
Know when to ask for help
Perhaps the most important tip we have for you is to be cognizant of your own mental and physical health as you care for your loved at home. You can only be a compassionate, empathetic caregiver when you’re filling your own tank. To explore your options for assistance in your or your loved one’s home, visit us at Santé today. We’re standing by to help.