If you’re providing care for a senior relative, it is likely that you stumbled into the responsibility with virtually no formal training: you saw the requirement, and gallantly came forward to meet it. Yet, the Georgia home care professionals at Atlanta Home Care Partners are provided with in-depth training before they’re fully equipped to properly and effectively care for seniors. Through our efforts to encourage family caregivers, we’ve outlined many of the crucial skills needed to provide the highest quality senior care.
Nutrition: Ensuring correct nutrition for the elderly is complicated. Medication side effects might cause food to be less appealing. Chewing and swallowing problems can be an issue. And isolation or depression can have a major effect on appetite. The fact is, senior malnourishment has grown to be more and more prevalent in older adults and isn’t as easy as observing when a senior has lost weight. Consult with the senior’s physician or a dietitian to put together a nutrition plan; and, make sure the senior’s fluid consumption (particularly plain water) is sufficient—a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses of fluid each day.
Infection Control: Being in close contact with an individual through providing personal care adds to the risk for spreading viral and microbial infection. The best defense against infection is trying to keep hands clean. If using protective gloves, hands should still be washed meticulously with soap and hot water, both before you apply and after removing gloves.
Communicating: Speaking with your older family member may seem like second nature, but there are some key considerations that can help the person feel more relaxed and to prevent damaging the person’s self-esteem. Seniors ought to be spoken to in a polite manner—never be patronizing or demeaning. Asking open-ended questions and allowing the senior adequate time to answer completely without interrupting are also important communication tips. And if the person suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, try to avoid correcting the individual, specifically if the topic being discussed heightens emotional responses like agitation or aggression.
Documenting: Maintaining good records of every change noted in the senior’s condition, and providing specifics to the medical team as soon as possible, is key to ensuring your loved one has all of the information needed to deal with any possible issues. Note dates, times, and as many specifics as you can—physical changes such as increased pain, numbness, swelling, etc., as well as any changes in behavior and disposition.
Want more tips from our professionally trained and highly skilled team, or a partner in care to give hands-on help for your senior loved one? We’re here to partner with family caregivers to make certain seniors receive the best quality home health care Dunwoody families could ask for. Call Atlanta Home Care Partners at (404) 228-0103 for more family caregiver tips.