Tip 1: Get them involved when you can
Getting your loved one involved in home life is an important way to keep them feeling connected while still maintaining some independence. Depending on their skill level and illness, have them help prepare meals or complete other simple tasks rather than doing everything for them. Also, try to include your loved one in any decisions about the way the household runs – including what you eat at mealtimes.
Tip 2: Get some air
Everyone needs a little fresh air in order to thrive. Plan to spend some time outside each day, either engaged in activity or simply sitting. This is beneficial not only for your loved one but for you too. Getting out of the house may feel like a challenge, but studies have shown that keeping active can slow the progression of conditions like dementia. If going out for a walk is not appropriate, you might find some fresh air on a balcony, deck or out in the garden.
Gardening can also be really beneficial for your loved one and has been linked to positive health outcomes. Even those who are less mobile might be able to tend to a few potted plants each day.
Tip 3: Understand their usual routine
In the initial stages of taking care of a loved one, you might be inclined to align them with your own routine. However, you may find it beneficial to consider their usual routine and see if you can keep at least some of their schedule the same.
If they’ve been eating lunch at the same time for 20 years, trying to accommodate this will be much easier than trying to change it. The less drastic the changes, the easier it will be for your loved one to settle into their new living arrangements.
Tip 4: Consider their sleeping environment
Both you and your loved one need a good night’s sleep. Consider your loved ones’ sleeping environment, especially if they have just moved in with you from their own home. Make sure the room is dark enough at night and there are no noises which could keep your loved one awake, like a nearby ticking clock. Check to make sure the room is the right temperature too. All of these things will ensure you and your loved one is set up for a good night’s sleep every night.
Tip 5: Make each day different
A change of scenery every now and then is good for both you and your loved one. As much as you can, try to break up the day for both you and the person you’re caring for. If you can’t go on an outing, perhaps you can have visitors to your house. You could look through old photo albums, watch a movie, or engage in a craft activity. Simple activities which are different and stimulating can help keep everyone happy.
Tip 6: Get help
Being a carer is time-consuming and can be very taxing on your overall health. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to do this alone. Make sure you have the right support to help prevent burnout and to ensure you’re able to take adequate rests and breaks from being a carer.
How Focused Health Care can help
At Focused Health Care, we offer a number of services that may be beneficial to you. Our Carer Support Respite Services can give you the break you need to sustain yourself through the long journey of caring for a loved one with an illness or disability. We also provide registered nursing services and in-home aged care packages. Whatever your needs, we’re here to help.
If you would like more information on how to care for your loved ones, visit https://www.focusedhealthcare.com.au/