Taking care of an elderly loved one who has needs with their day-to-day necessities can be challenging especially when certain medical conditions play a role in their limitations. Here are some practical tips used by our caregivers that you may find helpful in caring for your loved one:
Help by providing oral care prior to a meal. Your loved one may have a better appetite if they begin with a clean mouth. The flavor of food is intensified with a clean palate.
If your loved one is having difficulty keeping their plate from sliding off the table while they are cutting and eating their food, use a rubber shelf liner under the plate to keep the plate stable.
If your loved one has difficulty holding their utensils while eating, wrap a washcloth around the handle several times and secure it with a rubber band. This will make the utensil larger and easier to hold.
If the diet requires liquids that are thickened and your loved one does not like the taste of the thickener, try adding sugar or an artificial sweetener to improve the taste.
If sliding out of the chair is a problem for your loved one, try placing rubber shelf liner in their chair to help keep them intact and enable them to sit more upright.
For cleaning up a stubborn BM that is dried, try using shaving cream with aloe. Use sparingly but it works wonders for cleaning and keeping the skin free from irritation.
Use good body mechanics when it comes to lifting. Lift with your leg muscles, not your back. Always work in conjunction with your loved one during a lift. Use counting to let them know "on the count of three" the lift will begin so that they can assist as much as possible.
Don't forget to take care of yourself. You can't be of assistance to anyone if you are tired and run down. Give yourself breaks by asking for help from a family member or friend. Keep in mind that Respite Care is provided by Home Care companies to give family caregivers a break in caring for a loved one that is needed and deserved. Care can be scheduled weekly, monthly or as needed.
Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care assistance, Easy Living Services, Inc. We have supported Atlanta families in their efforts to keep loved ones fulfilled and safe at home since 1994. Call to discuss your specific needs, 770-442-8664 or visit us at: www.easylivingservices.com