Today’s Tuesday Tips for Caregivers™ is all about how to make daily tasks easier for you and for the person you care for! Here are 7 of our favorite tips!
- Be flexible. Recognize that despite your most meticulous planning, things could get off track. Be flexible and be willing to let go of the things that at the end of the day, really didn’t matter much to begin with. A perfect example of this is our desire to have our loved one take a shower. If at the end of the day they didn’t, there is always tomorrow. For most people, showering every day isn’t really necessary.
- Try to limit choices. This might include limiting the choice of what shirt your loved one selects to just 2 or 3. When asking what he or she might like to eat, try to avoid an open-ended question. Instead, offer two choices – a sandwich or soup, for example.
- Let them help. If possible, have the person you care for help with as many things as they can do safely. Rather than rush and take-over brushing their hair, give them the chance to do it. It helps preserve their dignity.
- Keep it simple. Try not to give to many instructions at once. Instead, try asking your loved one to “brush your teeth”, rather than saying “take a shower, brush your teeth, and then get dressed”. This can be too much to process if the person has any type of memory impairment. Simple, short sentences often work best.
- Limit distractions. Try turning off the TV or limiting any other distractions that could cause your loved one to get off track and forget what they were doing. This is very frustrating and can really help to reduce anxiety.
- Schedule carefully. Try not to schedule too many things in one day. If you are scheduling more than one appointment on the same day, be sure to give yourself extra time between appointments to manage anything unexpected.
- Take it slow. Caregivers are known for trying to take on too much in a single day. Try to take it slow. Please remember that for most of us, our in-box will always be full and what we don’t finish today, will still be there tomorrow.