5 Tips for Taking Care of Elderly Patients
- Stay educated
- Understand who you’re caring for
- Start small, and build up
Take as many certifications as needed and stay up to date on the newest information in elder care. Okie Dokie’s Providers app allows you to upload documents and credentials, which help families feel like their loved ones are in good hands.
Check in with family members, as well as the individual themself, so you have a complete understanding of the caregiving recipient’s needs. Are they mobile or do they require help getting to the bathroom and with other basic tasks? What are their medications and at what times do they need to take them? Will you be preparing their food, and if so, what can/can’t they eat? Keep note of the answers for future reference!
An elderly patient may not be comfortable with a stranger taking care of them at first, especially if a family member has been the one taking care of them up to this point. In cases like these, it’s important to show them you care and that you are there to help: Have conversations and ask them about things they enjoy. This way you can build a good relationship and provide even better companionship.
This can also be applied to the caretaking itself. If they have mobility problems, take it a few steps at a time, and if they have a lack of appetite, encourage a few bites of food or drinking some water. Every small step becomes part of a bigger caretaking journey!
- Help them stay active
- Be patient and kind
Whether it’s through dancing, a short walk, an age-appropriate workout routine, or simple stretches in bed, it’s important to keep older adults active. This can help them stay healthy, have better balance, and even improve their mood.
Most importantly, be understanding, patient, and kind. Most seniors rely on others’ assistance to meet at least some of their needs, and this can be very frustrating. As caregivers, it’s important to counter those frustrations with reassurance and patience. This shows your patient that you’re not just there to do things for them, but to help them and be a friend.
Caregiving is a way to make a change in someone’s life, while enriching your own. Make the best out of your skills and values through the Okie Dokie app!