Becoming a caregiver means experiencing a lot of changes in your daily life. The good news is, you can handle your new role. You just need to plan and prioritize things. Then you can take care of your loved one effectively and efficiently, whilst managing your other needs.
To give the best care possible, focus on these 5 important areas:
No doubt you’d like to make your caregiving situation as pleasant as possible for your loved one and you. There are a number of things that will help, including:
- Comfortable and clean clothes
- Comfortable furniture
- Spaces without barriers and obstacles
- Electronic devices that work
- Gentle lighting
- Music/radio/ within hearing/viewing distance
- A clean, fresh environment
Make everything around you more comfortable, and both of you will be much happier.
As the saying goes, “You are what you eat”. The fact is, diet and eating habits greatly influence health. That’s important to remember in your role as a caregiver. Proper nutrition and regular meals will help your loved one stay strong and healthy.
Here are a few tips for a simple and healthy diet:
- Encourage your loved one to eat three to five times a day, and serve their meals at set times
- Avoid food containing high levels of sodium, and use less salt
- Reduce the amount of alcohol and coffee your loved one drinks
- Check the amount and type of fat in the food you serve
- Encourage your loved one to drink water or juice
- If they’re unwilling to drink, try to get them to eat food with a high water content, such as fruit and soup
If your loved one is unable to look after herself or himself, you’ll need to help them keep clean – especially if they suffer from incontinence. The trouble is, frequent washing with soap and water can delay the skin’s ability to heal or prevent infection. It can lead to rashes, dermatitis and infection. Irritated skin caused by incontinence can take its toll on your loved one’s physical and mental wellness. So try to give their skin the special care it deserves. It’s easy to help them feel clean and comfortable with TENA. Our skin care range is designed to gently clean, restore and protect even the most delicate skin.
You and your loved one should exercise your bodies and minds regularly. It will do you both a world of good, helping you to stay healthy and feel great. So make physical and mental exercises part of your daily caregiving routine.
Take your loved one for a walk in the park, or drive somewhere for the day. As well as being good for your health, physical exercise also improves your mood. It’ll strengthen both of your immune systems and help you sleep more deeply.
Don’t forget about mental stimulation either. Do a crossword, play a board game, or read together. Or maybe have a little chat. All those things can make both of you mentally stronger and happier.
Is your loved one unable to get about? If so, try some of these tips to stimulate their mind:
- Talk to them, show them photos or movies they used to enjoy
- Play some music, or sing for them
- Try to continue activities they used to enjoy - for example, read books aloud to them
- Arrange their bed by the window so they can enjoy the world outside
- Take them outdoors, fresh air and sunshine can really lift the spirits