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6 Skills that Are Essential for Caring for Older Family Members

Becoming a family caregiver can provide a wonderful opportunity for you and your senior parent to bond. To make the job less intimidating, you should remain positive and try to learn as much about caregiving as possible. Below are some of the essential skills family caregivers should have.

1. Communication

Many seniors experience cognitive issues that damage their memory, concentration abilities, and language, which is why family caregivers must have excellent communication strategies in place. Always speak clearly and loudly enough for your loved one to follow the conversation, which can lower the risk of confusion and combative behavior. If your loved one has developed a condition that makes it difficult to speak or comprehend, look for other communication methods, such as emotion cards, whiteboards, color systems, and text messaging.

2. Time Management

Since you’re caring for another person, you need to use your time wisely in terms of practicing self-care and handling caregiving-related tasks. Poor time management could lead to your own physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. Develop a routine and enlist the help of others to manage your time efficiently. Proper time management increases happiness and leads to excellent caregiving.

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Anchorage elderly home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

3. Self-Education

If you’re like many family caregivers, you might be unaware of what to include in a high-quality care plan. You may lack the knowledge necessary to treat symptoms associated with conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s, or arthritis. The good news is you can educate yourself by reading about your loved one’s condition and asking questions when meeting with his or her medical providers.

4. Cleaning

Aging causes immune function to decrease, putting seniors at higher risk for developing viruses and infections. However, caregivers who have excellent cleaning skills can protect their loved ones’ immune systems and lower the risk of illnesses caused by bacteria buildup and dangerous toxins. You can also hire someone to come into the home and help with basic household chores, especially if you’re a caregiver who lives a long distance away.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

5. Patience

Family caregivers will face a variety of challenges, including hectic schedules, inadequate treatment responses, and combative behavior. You need to remain positive when your loved one experiences these issues instead of causing the situation to worsen. When you need a break, step out of the room to meditate, or ask your family and friends to help out so you can take time off to regroup.

6. Healthy Habits

Without physical stamina, you could hurt yourself or your loved one. Get the exercise you need to maintain physical strength and a healthy weight, which makes it easier to lift objects and assist your loved one when he or she is getting in and out of bed or walking down the stairs. Try to set time aside to visit the gym in the evenings or on the weekends, and go walking through the neighborhood a few times each week.

Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Anchorage families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (907) 770-0907.