As a family caregiver, you likely experience various feelings each day: shared laughter over a joke with a senior loved one; worry over a health concern; and of course, once in a while, irritations. We want only the best for people we love, and when an older adult is resistant to doing something we know is beneficial, it may be hard to figure out the most appropriate response.
One of the keys is to offer motivation and reassurance, and also being careful not to ever cross the line into bullying the senior. These guidelines can help:
- There’s no one-size-fits-all. A strategy that really works during one situation could be entirely ineffective in another. If the senior does not want to take a bath, for instance, you might just prefer to let the situation slide and attempt again later on. Or, maybe reframing bath time into a tranquil spa activity will hold additional appeal. Adding humor may work effectively one day, whereas using a gentler, softer tone of voice may be the answer on another. Having several different approaches at the ready often helps decrease irritation for both of you.
- Encourage your loved one to stay in control. Have a heart-to-heart chat with the older adult during a calm, peaceful few moments to ask for comments as to how the caregiving relationship is going, and what he or she would want to see changed. It is important to then take to heart the older adult’s responses and incorporate them into your caregiving technique.
- Be cautious of incremental bullying. Although we certainly would never set out to bully a senior into compliance, it’s conceivable to gradually move from support and inspiration into pushiness and forcefulness without noticing it. Take a sincere examination of your tendencies in speaking with your loved one, and then take steps to improve upon them as needed.
- Keep in mind the overarching objective. Apart from the numerous responsibilities required in providing care for a senior loved one, preserving a healthy, positive and fulfilling relationship with each other is a top priority. If you realize that the frustrations of providing care are outweighing the benefits for either of you at any time, there is always the possibility of exploring alternative care options, enabling you to place your focus on enjoying quality time with the older adult you love.
Atlanta Home Care Partners, the experts in senior care in Atlanta, is the ideal partner for family caregivers. Our caregiving staff are professionally trained and skilled in the numerous areas of senior home care, and will supply the help and support family members need to safeguard healthy relationships with those who they love. Contact us at 404.228.0103 and request an in-home consultation to discover the real difference respite care can make in both a senior’s total well-being and yours.