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3 Tips for Senior Caregivers

Caregiving for seniors is a rewarding profession, but it can get overwhelming sometimes. You give all your attention to ensure your patient is comfortable and safe, so you’re left with little time for yourself — but it doesn’t have to be this way.

There are many ways senior caregivers can make their workflow and time management more efficient. Not only will these practices ease your day, but they also allow you to provide better services to the elderly.

Take Advantage of Technology

Caregiving is no longer limited between the caregiver and senior. New innovations have become useful tools that make the practice more manageable. Senior caregivers, like you, should take advantage of these to lighten your workload or make processes more efficient.

One piece of technology that’s become a standard in most senior facilities and some homes is a nurse call system. With these systems, seniors can ask for help with just the push of a button. This way, you wouldn’t need to constantly check on them. They can simply ask for assistance when they need it.  Many nursing homes and families are utilizing portable call systems that are worn on the patient’s wrist or as a neck pendant.  This type of call system often self-activates in the event of a fall, and can be programmed to alert family members along with care provider staff.

Another one is your mobile phone. Today’s smart devices are capable of many things, and you should make the most of these features. From simple organization apps to more complex medication trackers, there are plenty of programs you can tailor to your needs.

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Take Breaks and Ask for Help

When you give your senior loved one all your attention and effort, you might forget about yourself. This can result in fatigue and frustration. That’s why it’s important for you to take a break and stop thinking about work. Go for the lunch break you skipped, or simply pause for a minute or two. Also, don’t forget to ask for help! Some tasks will take more than a single person to accomplish. If someone offers their hand, don’t hesitate to take it. It will ease your burden and help you tremendously.

Let Seniors Try Something New

When seniors are busy with their hobbies or recreational activities, you’ll have more time to recuperate from a busy workday. However, choosing a safe and easy activity can be tricky, especially for patients with mobility issues. Here are some you can try:

  • Reading: There’s nothing as freeing as escaping to another world. If you find a genre your patients love, they’ll be preoccupied with reading all day.  Many seniors, due to changes in their vision, are reluctant to read.  Help them get back to the enjoyment of reading by providing bright, well-placed lighting.  Reading magnification devices are also available, and come in a variety of styles. Another option, if they are willing to embrace technology, is to set them up on a Kindle or tablet.  This allows adjustment of font sizes, and the backlit screen provides enhanced text and object visibility.
  • Arts and Crafts: Let them explore their creativity! You can provide art supplies and let them pour their imagination onto a canvas.  A wide variety of hands-on craft projects are readily available for purchase, or use your imagination and come up with your own creative activities.  Old photographs provide hours of enjoyment for most seniors.  Find an old box of photos; a pair of scissors, glue or tape, and they’ll be on their way arranging photo collage boards that they can share with grandkids and other relatives.
  • Play Games: Whether it’s a card or board game, anything will do — but it’s best to select some that seniors can do by themselves or with others, so you can be free to do other tasks.

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When it’s time to begin thinking about providing care for your senior loved one, it’s not uncommon to feel anxious about the changes ahead. Fortunately, home care often provides an ideal first step between your loved one’s current situation and a more structured setting – allowing them to receive excellent, expert care on your schedule and in the comfort of their own home. If you’d like more information about respite care, or more tips regarding how to begin a conversation with your loved one, contact Arista Home Care Solutions today.