As a family caregiver, you certainly encounter a range of feelings during the day: shared laughter over a joke with your loved one; worry over a health concern; and undoubtedly, once in a while, frustrations. We wish only the best for people we love, and if a senior loved one is resistant to doing something we know is beneficial, it might be tough to identify the best reply.
The important thing is always to offer motivation and support, while remaining careful never to cross the line into bullying the senior. These elder care guidelines are important to consider:
- There is no one-size-fits-all. An approach that works on one situation may very well be thoroughly ineffective in another. In case the older adult will not take a bath, for instance, perhaps you may just prefer to let the matter slide and try again another day. Or, maybe reframing bath time into a tranquil spa activity will hold extra appeal. Adding humor may work well one day, while employing a gentler, softer tone of voice might be the solution on another. Having multiple strategies at the ready can help lower frustration for both of you.
- Empower your loved one to remain in charge. Have a heart-to-heart conversation with the older adult in the course of a relaxed, peaceful moment to solicit feedback as to how the caregiving relationship is going, and what she or he wishes to see modified. It’s worthwhile to then take to heart the older adult’s advice and incorporate it into your caregiving approach.
- Be conscious of progressive bullying. Even though we definitely would not set out to bully a loved one into compliance, it’s possible to gradually progress from encouragement and motivation into pushiness and forcefulness without recognizing it. Take a truthful look at your tendencies in speaking with your loved one, and then take the appropriate steps to improve upon them if needed.
- Keep in mind the overarching priority. Above and beyond the numerous tasks necessary in providing elder care for a loved one, preserving a healthy, positive and fulfilling relationship with each other is vital. If you learn that the frustrations of providing care are outweighing the rewards for either of you at any time, there is always the possibility of looking into different care options, enabling you to place your focus on enjoying quality time with the senior you love.
Midnight Sun Home Care, the Anchorage respite care experts, is the ideal partner for family caregivers. Our caregiving staff are fully trained and skilled in the numerous facets of elder care at home, and will supply the help and support family members need to safeguard healthy relationships with the ones they love. Contact us at (907) 677-7890 and request an in-home consultation to see if our services are available in your area, and to learn the real difference respite care can make both in a senior’s quality of life and yours.