If you’re providing care for a senior loved one, it is possible that you fell into the responsibility with no formal training: you saw the need, and gallantly came forward to satisfy it. Yet, at Midnight Sun Home Care, thorough training is provided to each of our professional providers of the in-home senior personal care Matanuska-Susitna AK families need. In our effort to encourage family caregivers, we’ve outlined some of our top caregiver tips to provide the highest possible quality senior care.
Infection Control: Being in close contact with a senior through providing personal care adds to the risk for spreading viral and microbial infection. The very best defense against infection is keeping hands clean. If using protective gloves, hands should still be washed meticulously with soap and warm water, both before you put on and after removing gloves.
Nutrition: Ensuring correct nutrition in the elderly can be challenging. Medication side effects might cause food to be less enjoyable. Chewing and swallowing may be an issue. And isolation or depression can have a significant effect on appetite. The reality is, senior malnourishment has started to become more and more common in older adults and is not as easy as noting if a senior has lost weight. Consult with the senior’s physician or a dietitian to create a nutrition plan; and, be certain the senior’s fluid intake (particularly plain water) is adequate—at least 8 to 10 glasses of fluid daily.
Documenting: Retaining good records of any changes noted in the senior’s condition, and offering specifics to the healthcare team as soon as possible, is paramount to making sure your loved one has all of the details necessary to tackle any possible issues. Note dates, times, and as many details as possible—physical changes like increased pain, numbness, swelling, etc., as well as any alterations in behavior and mood.
Communicating: Speaking with your senior loved one may seem like second nature, but there are numerous key points to consider that can help the person feel more comfortable and to prevent damaging his or her self-esteem. Seniors should be spoken to in a polite manner—never being patronizing or demeaning. Asking open-ended questions and allowing the senior adequate time to answer completely without interrupting, are important communication tips. And in case the person has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, try to avoid correcting the person, particularly if the topic being discussed increases emotional responses like anxiety or aggression.
Want more caregiver tips from our professionally trained and highly skilled care team, or a partner in care to give hands-on assistance for your senior family member? We’re available to partner with family caregivers to make sure seniors receive the highest possible quality of care at all times. Contact Midnight Sun Home Care, the top providers of senior personal care Matanuska-Susitna AK families trust, at (907) 677-7890 to learn more.