People who are elderly require a lot of care and concern due to various reasons. Elderly care is not similar to caring for people when they are sick or unhealthy. It needs to be done with knowledge and dedication.
Elderly care varies with each elderly person as different people have different requirements in their old age. Certain important guidelines are there which need to be followed when taking care of elderly people. This article will elaborate on these guidelines.
Tips to be followed for elderly care
Firstly, one must remember that one is the care giver to the elderly people. There are different roles for different types of care givers. For instance, one may be a nurse or an assistant at a home for the elderly or at a nursing home. One can be called upon to take care of an elderly relative or a friend and so on.
The role that a care giver will assume will depend on these variations. A care giver at a nursing home for example, will have had some formal training in how to go about with elderly care while a person with no such training may find it initially difficult to know what to do and how to go about the process.
Whatever may be the nature of the relationship between the care giver and the elderly, during elderly care, it is very important to establish a bond with the elderly. This can be done by getting to know the person who is to be cared for. Getting to know the person includes knowing about his or her likes and dislikes, and preferences.
In this context, if the care giver is a relative or a friend, it becomes a lot easier because the care giver will already be acquainted with the elderly people. However, in the case of professional nurses at old age home or nursing homes, it may take some time to acquaint oneself with the elderly persons.
The nurse will need to do some homework about the person concerned and also be observant enough to realize what the person wishes for. If a strong bond is created between the care giver and the elderly based on trust and faith, then it will be easier for the elderly to convey his or her needs or discomforts without any inhibition.
Establishing a bond will make communication between the two people a lot easier, relaxed and comfortable. Also, the elderly person will get a feeling of security with regard to the care giver which is very important at an old age. The care giver also needs to make the elderly feel at home so that he or she would not feel like a job that the care giver is taking care of.
Treating elders with respect is another important part of elderly care. The elderly expect to be treated with respect and the physical difficulties or inabilities of the elderly should not come in the way of respectful treatment. Establishing a relationship based on respect is necessary for another reason.
Elders will feel pushed around if they are disrespected and this may result in them becoming difficult to treat. In such a case, the care giver might find it quite challenging to perform the task of caring for the elderly person.
The setting up of a routine is another important point that can help in elderly care. The elderly often prefer following a routine that will help them through the day. Hence the setting up of a routine such as a time for leisure, a time for taking medicines, and so on.
The setting up and following of a routine makes it easier for the elderly to cope with their age and the loss of their physical strength. The care giver can set up these routines. There is no fixed way to set up a routine, or in other words, there is no one fixed routine to be followed.
The routines will vary from one elderly to another and the care giver can consult the elderly while making these routines so that they can be planned according to the way the elderly want it. Another useful fact about setting up routines is that with age, the cognitive faculties of people suffer a decline and thus elderly people tend to become dependent on these routines that plan out their time through the course of a day.
A good and well planned routine helps in stabilizing the daily life of the elderly. This will make the life of the elderly much less stressful and will also help the care giver in working with ease with a knowledge of when to do what. The elderly rarely like chaos and untimely happenings and a well planned routine helps to balance the different parts of the day making them reassured and happier.
Despite the beneficial aspects of routine in elderly care, too much emphasis on routines can make the elderly feel restricted and stifled. Hence small variations at times are always a refreshing welcome. The same routine day after day without any variation at all can also make the elderly feel depressed and anxious.
Hence the care giver should take note of this fact and incorporate small changes in the routine from time to time that will bring a welcome change of pace and also not make the life of the elderly boring in any way. Occasional changes such as a short walk, some shopping, and so on, help to keep the routine flexible.
Last but not the least the care giver needs to be up for facing unexpected challenges when taking care of the elderly. The care giver must remember that the elderly people need a lot of support and patience and so the care giver should not lose patience while looking after the elderly people.
Also, the elderly people may frequently feel uneasy, sick or otherwise uncomfortable and the care giver needs to know what difficulties the elderly people may face so that proper care and assistance can be given.