Top Tips for Caregiving

Without a doubt, caregiving can be a stressful experience, leaving many holding their hands in the air and wondering, “How on earth can I possibly do this?” The act of caregiving is much more in our cultural zeitgeist than it once was with more of our aging population. What are some effective ways to manage the stress of caregiving in order to navigate this complicated terrain? Let’s delve into some valuable and proven caregiving tips to shed some light on a process many people will eventually experience! 

Cultivate patience. Well, this tidbit could be applied all across the board all throughout life, don’t you think? It especially applies to caregiving. An effective tool to foster more patience is really to ask yourself the question: How would I feel if I were suffering from memory lapses? Surely it can’t be easy forgetting important dates, events, even people. Placing yourself in your loved one’s shoes will help create empathy, which can ultimately take you to true compassion. 

Keep things simple. Remember it’s important to simplify sentences and stick to one subject at a time when in conversation. When patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia become confused, they become upset more easily. While you don’t want to speak to them like a baby or condescend, keeping things simple in conversation is key to better comprehension and overall better communication. 

Utilize proven calming methods. Whether it’s playing peaceful music or changing the subject of conversation to bright and sunny weather, you want to have several proven calming methods in your back pocket when encountering trouble areas or difficult moments. Think of these techniques as magic bullets to steer a loved one away from a stressful and upsetting place, into more of a relaxing one. This may take some trial and error in determining which ones work, but it’s worth the effort!  

Caretaking is a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual experience, requiring effective strategies to keep you and your loved one happy and healthy while struggling with a progressive disease. Maintain tips that work for you and bring about the results you need.