It’s really common for a caregiver to want to simply take over helping an aging adult with every aspect of her care. This can be more than your elderly family member needs, however. Taking a step back can sometimes be the right thing to do.
Guide and Demonstrate Instead of Taking Over
As a caregiver, it’s often easier to simply do things for your elderly family member. Unfortunately, this removes the responsibility from her and she might eventually stop trying. Instead of taking over, try demonstrating the activity for your elderly family member. You can also guide her hands or her actions in order to help.
Make Sure She Can See You
When your aging family member can see you, it’s much easier for her to see what you’re doing and to mimic your activities. For many aging adults, this can be all the prompt that she needs in order to remember what to do and how to do it. This can be especially useful when you’re helping your elderly family member brush her teeth or hair.
Talk through What You’re Doing as You’re Doing It
This might feel silly at first, but talking through what you’re doing as it’s happening can be extremely powerful for your elderly family member. For some seniors, just the sound of your voice is soothing. But this is also a way to avoid surprising your elderly family member with the next action or activity. As you get used to this, it becomes easier to do.
Let Her Ask for Help, Even Nonverbally
Another concept that can help both you and your aging family member is to let her know that you’re going to wait for her cue that she needs help before you jump in. This can be as simple as her specifically asking for help, but that might not be possible. Pay attention to your elderly family member’s frustration levels and indicators that she’s becoming too frustrated. Then ask her directly if you can help her to do something.
Keeping your elderly family member involved in her own care can be an important way to maintain a connection with your aging adult and to remind yourself how much you love her.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering home care services in Reston, VA, please contact the caring staff at LivinRite Home Care.
Call Us Today at (703) 634-9991.
Serving Northern Virginia, The Valley, and Surrounding Communities.
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