Aware Senior Care Blog
If you’ve chosen in-home care for an elderly member of your family, allowing them to age in place, then you already know that in-home care has many advantages. At the same time, the ageing of a loved one, and the provision of care it involves can be quite stressful. With a little knowledge and planning, some of this stress can be relieved.
Very often, you become stressed because you want things to be a certain way, but they are not. The first thing you need to fully accept is the change that comes alongside the decision to provide in-home care. Depending on the level of care, there may be dramatic changes to your lifestyle. Whatever the case may be, it is vital that you accept that there will be some sort of change to your regular lifestyle.
Aging isn’t a process that only affects one person – it affects the entire family. The effects of aging in an in-home care situation are all the more prominent and that is why your decision to provide home care needs to be discussed with your family. Talk about potential changes you may face and consider everyone’s opinions so you are all aware of any challenges that may arise along the way.
A good first step to prepare for in-home caregiving is to get rid of clutter. Having a messy environment with obstructed pathways will become a challenge when providing care and it also increases the risk of injuries for an elderly loved one. Having a neat and organized space will make caregiving much easier for you, and will also be greatly appreciated by your elder family members.
Your home may need certain adjustments to accommodate for your elder loved ones. This could be anything from modifying your bathroom by adding a walk in tub, or installing grab bars.
Sometimes caregivers can hyper-focus on the physical aspects of care, including providing nutritious meals, exercise and managing medications. This can result in overlooking the importance of mental health. As people age, it is integral that their minds stay active. This can be done by engaging your loved one in conversation, giving them reading materials, keeping them up-to-date with current affairs, and even playing thought provoking games and puzzles with them. A proactive approach to mental health can alleviate depression and helps a senior loved one to feel young at heart.
In the process of giving care, caregivers often tend to neglect something very important – themselves. As a care provider, you need to make sure that you yourself are taken care of, so that you are able to provide quality care. Caregiving is very demanding, even if you are helping your own family members. Eating right, sleeping well, and taking a break from caregiving every once in awhile is critical to stay healthy.
At some point, caregiving can become so overwhelming that you may need a hand or two to help out. Rather than feeling guilty and stressed out all the time, recognize that caregiving is a difficult task, and sometimes you may not be able to do it on your own (nor do you have to). Prepare in advance by knowing what your options could be if you reach this point, so as to make the transition easier for both you and the recipient.
Keeping these things in mind will lessen the anxiety and stress that often accompanied in-home care giving in its initial stages. Ultimately, you will find that in-home care giving is a wonderfully fulfilling process – not only for your dearly loved elders, but also for you.