When you take on the role of caregiver, in many instances it is something that is thrust upon you without much planning. It simply happens that your aging loved ones are “fine one day and in need of care the next.” It happens to many individuals and they don’t have time to “take a class” or “learn how to be a caregiver” they just have to do their best and hope things work out well!
Here, though are some techniques that will help you in your new role as caregiver:
- Retain eye contact with your oved one. This may not be something you think about, but it’s important. If your loved one is wheelchair bound or bed bound, it’s best if you can get down to eye level with them so they aren’t straining to look up at you.
- Approach them from the front. Don’t come up behind or even beside them and start talking or reach out to touch them as it may startle them and cause confusion.
- Before you attempt to move your parent from one position to another by yourself, ask if they can help you by helping to shift their own weight. They may be able to help with their own movement and that can help prevent any injuries to you or your back.
- Caregivers are, in many cases, crunched for time. Even if you’re running late, though allow your loved one to complete the activity he or she is involved in. If you’re anxious, try not to let your anxiety rub off on them. Remember, they are going through as much emotional upheaval as you are.
- Allow them to have the time to adjust to what may be their new reality – being wheelchair bound or having received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s or any other number of ailments that plague the elderly.
One of the best things a caregiver can remember is to ask to for help. You don’t have to do it alone. Whether you reach out to other family members, neighbors, church groups or even any of the number of services available for the aged, it’s an easier task to manage when you have assistance.