It is never easy to look after another person, no matter how young or old he or shecis. Regardless the age, you should always think about the needs and benefits of the person you are taking care of. However, age determines how and what exactly you should be doing, since elderly need a companion and a caregiver, at the same time.
Respect and equality should be every caregiver’s main focus when taking care of an older person. Patients may be helpless in some situations, which makes them dependent upon you. Because of that the caretakers (patients) should have trustful relationship with their caregiver in order to accept the help they need.
Safety and Patience
The easiest option for most people is to place elderly patients into an old age home. However, it is much better idea to take care of them in their own home, since this is their place and they feel safe and secure there. Nursing or old age homes are completely new and alien environment for elderly, making most of them feel uncomfortable and intimidated.
Even though they feel safe at home, safety must be one of the priorities when taking care of an elderly person. They could have pets for decades without any problem, but now, with aging, this may cause accidents and become a physical threat for their well-being. Also, caregivers should be aware of other dangers in the house, such as sharp objects and slippery surfaces. Both of these could lead to injuries and an elderly person should be protected.
Be prepared and expect situations where you will need to have tons of patience. Elderly sometimes behave like children but their physical body cannot endure this behavior. Be mature in such situations and watch carefully on the elderly person. Be there for the patient if he/she insists on doing everything by himself/herself. Some people may already be unable to do many things, so try to explain to him/her that fact, very calmly and with lots of patience.
Older people very frequently need someone to listen to them and someone they can talk with. A caregiver is usually that person so try to start conversation and listen what they have to say.
Proper Medical Care
In general, elderly are often using several medications for different medical problems. Caregivers must pay close attention that they take the drugs exactly as they were prescribed, since missing a dose may cause serious consequences in some cases.
Proper diet is also part of the care the elderly need, as well as some physical activity. This is one more areas where caregivers must be involved in.