As a family caregiver, you obviously experience several feelings during the day: shared laughter over a joke with your senior loved one; worry due to a health concern; and of course, from time to time, frustrations. We want only the best for individuals we love, so when a senior loved one is resistant to doing something we know is best, it could be challenging to identify the most appropriate response.
The key is to try to provide motivation and support, and also being vigilant never to cross the line into bullying the senior. These tips are important to consider:
- There’s no one-size-fits-all. An approach that really works on a single occasion is possibly altogether ineffective in another. In the event that the your loved one refuses to take a bath, for example, perhaps you may simply want to let the situation slide and try again later on. Or, maybe reframing bath time into a relaxing spa activity will hold some more appeal. Including humor may work well one day, while using a gentler, softer tone of voice may be the solution on another. Having various strategies at the ready may help lower frustration for both of you.
- Empower the senior to stay in charge. Have a heart-to-heart chat with the older adult during a calm, peaceful few moments to hear how the caregiving relationship is going, and what he or she would want to see modified. It’s important to then take to heart the senior loved one’s comments and incorporate it in your caregiving approach.
- Be aware of incremental bullying. Even though we certainly would not set out to bully a loved one into compliance, it’s possible to steadily move from support and inspiration into pushiness and forcefulness without realizing it. Take a truthful examination of your tendencies in speaking with the one you love, and then make a plan to improve upon them if needed.
- Keep in mind the overarching priority. Apart from the many responsibilities necessary in providing care for a loved one, maintaining a healthy, positive and fulfilling relationship with one another is a top priority. If you find that the worries of providing care are outweighing the advantages for either of you at any time, there is always the possibility of looking into different care options, so you can place your focus on spending quality time with the senior you love.
Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, providing St. Joseph home health care, is the perfect partner for family caregivers. Our caregiving staff are highly trained and skilled in the numerous areas of senior home care, and will supply the assistance family members need to safeguard healthy relationships with people who they love. Contact us at (269) 373-5444 (Kalamazoo, MI), (269) 763-5350 (Paw Paw, MI), (269) 849-9252 (St. Joseph, MI), or (269) 963-9888 (Battle Creek, MI) and request an in-home consultation to learn the real difference respite care can make both in a senior’s quality of life and yours.