Caregiver Responsibilities for Taking Care of the Elderly
Old age is usually synonymous with a reduction in some of our physical abilities, and the nurses and caregivers play an essential role in taking care of the elderly during this time. The elderly caregivers have several duties related to cleaning, shopping, cooking, helping, and managing health and medication. In today’s article of Living Maples, we will review the roles of the elderly caregiver.
Who Is a Caregiver?
The term “caregiver” refers to anyone who cares for someone’s health and well-being and aids the person in daily tasks. We might need one due to an injury, illness, or old age. These conditions make it difficult for the elderly to cope with their daily activities.
Depending on the senior’s condition, he/she might need special care, which the family members cannot provide.
The Roles of the Elderly Caregiver
The roles and duties of the elderly may differ every day since the elderly might experience different moods and require various treatments. However, some basic tasks are the same when caring for seniors. Here, we will look at the most critical roles of the elderly caregiver.
Medical EvaluationChecking, the health of our beloved seniors is an essential responsibility of a caregiver. The caregiver may check the medical appointments, manage medications, and evaluate the pain level. He/she also has to make regular contact with the family doctor to report the senior’s condition.
Care Plan Preparation
This plan is intended to track the needs and goals of the elderly. This plan will determine how many hours of care the elderly need during the day. The care plan also assesses the condition of the elderly and helps the caregiver make decisions regarding the need for additional help.
Evaluating Basic Needs
Some of the seniors are suffering from various memory and mobility issues, making it difficult to do everyday tasks such as bathing, eating, grooming, etc. As one of the roles of the elderly caregiver, he/she should help the elderly fulfill his/her basic needs.
The Companionship of the Caregiver
Loneliness is one of the leading causes of depression, which is prevalent during old age. Some of the elderly are living alone due to losing their spouse or leaving of the children. Companionship is one of the most critical roles of the elderly caregiver. Loneliness can lead to severe health problems. While caring for the elderly, the caregiver can provide opportunities to strengthen his/her bond and connection.
Aging can make it difficult to do daily tasks of cleaning the home. Some tasks of the elderly such as washing the dishes, vacuuming, as well as daily maintenance need help. Furthermore, there are different tasks such as yard work, daily maintenance, and shoveling, which may be too difficult for the elderly to handle. If the caregiver cannot manage all these tasks, the elderly can benefit from the help of the senior living community.
Aging makes it challenging to cook. If the elderly live alone, they may find it challenging to cook. In some cases, memory and balance issues may make cooking dangerous. Caregivers can help with grocery shopping, preparing meals, or finding alternatives to ensure the proper nutrition of the elderly.
Seniors might need to take several medicines during the day. It is difficult for the elderly to remember all these medicines and take them on time. Thanks to various medicine management apps out there, the elderly or the caregiver can handle medication management. The caregiver help lower the risk of overmedicating by creating reminder systems and monitoring the medication usage of the elderly.
Care Plan Assessment
We mentioned that creating a care plan is one of the roles of the elderly caregiver. However, the condition and needs of the elderly are not always the same, and the caregiver should adjust the plan regularly. He/she should review the plan regularly to determine what’s working, what’s not, and what needs to be adapted. The caregiver should keep in close contact with the doctor and other health professionals to discuss any changes.
Helping with Mobility
Falls are among the most severe problems of the elderly. Seniors might find it difficult to move or walk. Some of the elderly might need a wheelchair to move. The caregiver should take the elderly out to the yard to expose him/her to the sun. The elderly caregiver should take steps to help prevent falls and help the elderly stay safe and comfortable.
The elderly might not be able to use public transportation. Driving is no longer safe for the elderly. The caregiver should look for alternative transportations to take the elderly to appointments.
Characteristics of an Excellent Elderly Caregiver
Compassion and Kindness
Kindness and compassion are the essential characteristics that every elderly caregiver should have. So, for an older person, doing simple tasks can be challenging, and even the simplest tasks can require the help of a caregiver, who must communicate with the older person in a way that is easy for him or her to do. A good caregiver understands the elderly well and knows how the elderly feel in the face of these challenges.
As people get older and begin to lose control of their physical and mental abilities, their independence in doing things decreases, making the elderly need more respect. Facing daily challenges such as loss of sensation, memory impairment, and physical disabilities place a responsibility on the older caregiver, caring for the caregiver and letting them know that they are as strong and important as before. To do this, respect for the elderly and show patience, love, and kindness are essential characteristics of the elderly caregiver.
Patience is something that selfish people do not have and can not be bought with money, but it only originates from the heart. Elderly caregivers know how tedious it can be to care for an older person. Hence, while caring for the elderly, simple tasks can become more complex and take longer to complete. Therefore, they need to be patient enough to do their best despite these issues and care for the elderly without fatigue or weakness.
The ability to communicate is essential and vital for the elderly caregiver. Older people often seek refuge in their inner world and are cut off from the outside world or suffer from dementia or Alzheimer‘s. Furthermore, understanding and deciphering a patient’s needs in such situations requires a particular skill that senior caregivers must perform their duties.
Creativity is one of the useful skills for caregivers and can help them perform their roles. For the elderly caregiver whose profession is to improve the patient’s quality of life, thinking beyond what has been predicted and determined can lead to new ways and means of guiding and interacting with them and making a pleasant change in the rhythm of their daily lives.