We all want to be effective caregivers. What is the point in helping someone in their waning years if it’s not useful, impactful and centered around great meaning? Naturally, amongst the daily hustle and bustle of caregiving, one can stop and ask oneself: What is truly effective caregiving? Am I on the right track? Could I be doing better? Like parenting, caregiving involves deep questioning and insightful reflection—with the occasional bout with doubt. But let’s hone in on specifics and bring to surface what exactly effective caregiving really is and how we can implement it in our daily routines.
First and foremost, effective caregiving involves freedom. Yes, for you—to have time off, to spend time with friends, to ensure you aren’t neglecting your life altogether in this demanding process—but also with your loved one. For example, it’s important to let them decide where they want to eat, where they live, with whom they associate. Having this type of control enhances self-determination and also paves the way for self-confidence and a better state of mental health.
Second, you want to get educated—not only on your loved one’s mental state, but also on how they are feeling. The best way to do this is to ask questions and keep them open-ended. For example: Does this hurt? What would make things better right now? At what point in time throughout the day do you feel good? This allows you to be more knowledgeable and also perceptive about your loved one’s physical state and how to navigate their time.
Finally, you want to be a friend to your loved one. Sure, you are looking after their needs—physical and mental—but you also want to build a level of trust and confidence with them. After all, the process of dementia decline can be very lonely sometimes and having a friend with whom to spend the hours is vital to well being and self-care. If they want to talk about something, engage them; if they need time alone to process something, give it to them. Being there for them, ready and willing to assist them throughout this journey, will mean so much in the long run.
What is Effective Caregiving?Remember, too, you can also seek the advice of caregiving support groups, where many people look for validation that they are doing the right thing. Being able to share in this process with others can go a long way towards feeling good about your effective caregiving on the day-to-day.
Located in Greenwich, CT, CT Help at Home is proud to be a top rated home health care provider in Fairfield County, CT, Westchester County, NY, Manhattan, NY and beyond. Our clients are our family and we treat everyone with compassion and care. Contact us today to see how we can help you and your loved ones.