When caring for seniors, you want to provide the best possible care. Providing personal, in-home elder care for an older family member can be rewarding, but it can also be stressful and exhausting, especially if the individual is bedridden and requires extra assistance. Even if the senior is your own parent — perhaps especially if it is your parent — you should have resources and a support system to rely on.
Many of these resources can help you find better ways to provide quality elder care. This might mean accessing programs that send a nurse or caregiver to your home to give you a day to yourself once a week. It might mean rearranging your home to give your elder more opportunities to provide her own care or making changes to your household so she personally feels comfortable. It might even mean paying more attention to your own mental and physical health.
Integrity, Inc. can help make senior in-home personal care in Little Rock and surrounding areas easier for caregivers and seniors. Check out these tips to make elderly care easier for you and the senior in your home!
Ways to Provide the Best Elder Care
In-home personal care for seniors, in Little Rock or anywhere else in the world, is more than administering medication and making meals. They need personal care, healthy options, social interaction, and a sense of maintaining their personal independence. Check out our top five tips for accomplishing this!
1. Hire In-Home Care
Providing elder care outside a nursing home is generally better for aging adults. Prolonged in-patient stays can be stressful for everyone involved. Professional senior in-home personal care in Little Rock is an option for many — and not just for the wealthy. Some insurances will cover some kinds of in-home care, and other programs are available if you do not have the financial resources.
2. Understand Your Loved One’s Specific Needs
Understanding the requirements of the individual and providing care accordingly is essential. For example, if your senior is an early riser who needs help with morning rituals, make sure someone is available in the early hours. He may be able to handle most aspects of life but need help in the kitchen. Make sure healthy, easy options are available. Talk to your loved one about what is essential to their health.
3. Arrange Social Interactions
Isolation can be so emotionally and mentally difficult, it actually reflects physically. Ensure your loved one gets plenty of opportunities to interact with other people: you, other family members, neighbors, and friends.
Nearby senior centers are a great means of socializing — they provide classes or meals, and will often arrange transportation for homebound people. Even teaching seniors how to use social media, like Facebook or Pinterest, can make a difference in his or her life. If they are able, helping them sign up for an email address can provide at least a small way to interact with others, although this should certainly not be the only option available to them.
4. Make Your Home Senior-Friendly
The risk of falling increases with age. According to a study by the CDC, one out of four older people falls each year. Take preventative measures to ensure the home is senior-friendly, so accidents don’t happen. You can also install cameras for times when they are alone or with an outside caregiver.
Other safety tips to make your home senior-friendly include:
Keep essentials in reach. If the stairs are difficult to navigate, make sure everything your loved one needs is on a single floor of the house. If just walking can be problematic, keep everything they need within arm’s reach — food, medicine, books, and any other essential personal items — to reduce the chance of walking around the house and falling.
Modify the bathroom. Bathrooms can be particularly dangerous, so take steps to limit the danger. Make sure you are home to help (or at least hear an accident) at shower time. Install grab bars, shower mats, shower chairs, and elevated toilet seats to make the bathroom an easier place to manage independently.
Modify the kitchen. If your loved one uses the kitchen independently, make sure it is also senior-friendly. Encourage using the microwave more frequently than the stove. Ensure the smoke detector in the house is working and in good condition. Keep the room clear of anything flammable. Consider meal planning or prepping, so she can just take a pre-made lunch out of the fridge and heat it up. You should also ensure that they do not wear loose clothing while using the kitchen.
Encourage dressing to prevent accidents. Wearing loose clothes increases the chance of tripping and falling, snagging something on a doorknob, or dragging a sleeve on a hot stove. Make sure your loved one wears clothes that are comfortable, fit properly, and reduce the chance of falling.
Non-slip socks provide a better grip on slippery floors. Wearing prescribed glasses all the time makes seeing obstacles easier. For older adults at an increased risk of falling, hip pads to protect the hips can be extremely helpful.
Alter any prohibitive obstacles. If mobility is questionable, using stairs can be a big deal — and result in big problems. If stairs are unavoidable, ensure you have installed safety features like handrails and rubber grips.
The proper lighting should be present throughout the house, especially at night, so the area through which they move can be seen clearly. Obstacles like rugs, wires, and other loose items should be removed or secured to prevent tripping.
Care for the Caregiver
You would not expect anyone else to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, and you should not expect it of yourself either.
Ask siblings or other family members to take a day or two once a week; even once a month can make a difference. Give yourself time off to do the things you enjoy, not just the things you have to do, like paying bills or vacuuming. If they can’t provide their time, you might ask for financial support to help ease the burden of care.
The more you take care of yourself, the better you can care for your loved one.
For More Information
If you are looking for help providing better senior in-home personal care in Little Rock, Integrity, Inc. can help. Our staff can assist in many aspects of eldercare. Make sure your loved ones are living a life they choose. Contact us online, or call (501)614-7200 today!