When considering the nursing home option for parents or other loved ones, here are a few of the main advantages to keep to mind:
Better resources and equipment: Private homes simply don’t have the types of medical equipment and supplies needed to help seniors stay healthy. Many nursing homes are almost as advanced as hospitals in their ability to provide sophisticated care for patients on a 24-hour basis.
High-quality long-term care: Due to modern medicine, seniors now live longer than ever. While we’re thankful for this, longer life-spans often come with longer periods of late-life illness and disability. Caring for a senior relative at home is often a long-term commitment of many years, sometimes requiring intensive care.
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If you are a caregiver for an elderly person it is important that you are aware of a common issue that can occur with many seniors. Many seniors will be wakening in the night and be disoriented. This can lead them to get out of bed and have a fall or even try to leave their homes in the night. This is a problem that may not seem serious but it can have very serious ramifications. You will need to be prepared to deal with elderly disorientation at night if you are a caregiver. The following tips can give you some guidelines to help the elderly in your care and keep them safe at night, no matter how they wake-
• Make their bed safe - The first step in making sure that the elder person does not hurt himself or herself upon waking with disorientation is to make their bed safe. The disorientation that many elderly feel often occurs right at waking. This makes it crucial that you take safety measures before they even get up. You can do this by adding safety rails to the bed to keep them from falling out. In addition, the safety rails can also function as grab bars which can help them to sit up safely and get their bearings.
• Prevent falls from happening - The number one type of accident that occurs with seniors who are disoriented at night is falls. Falls can be very serious and even life threatening. This makes it crucial that you do everything you can in order to prevent falls from happening. Lighting is the number one way to help prevent falls. There are motion sensors lights that turn on as someone approaches them. In addition, rugs should be non slip and there should be a clear path for the senior to travel to the bathroom and the kitchen at night.
• Consider the effects of medication - Elder people take a lot of prescriptions. This makes it important that if the senior person in your care is taking any kind of medication and is experiencing disorientation at night (or any time), then you should consider the medication that they are taking. Sometimes all it takes to resolve nighttime disorientation is talking to the doctor and switching medications. This is especially important if the senior is taking several medications which could be causing this effect by being mixed together.
• Alarm the doors of the home - If the senior in your care is experiencing nighttime disorientation it is important to consider if they can leave the home at night. Unfortunately, the elderly can often become so mixed up at night that they leave their home and are exposed to all sorts of problems when outside at night. If your elderly loved one is having this problem it is important to make sure that any door that they can leave through is alarmed. This will then wake someone and allow them the chance to stop the senior before they get outside.
• Consult a doctor if the problem is chronic - It is important to understand that nighttime disorientation in seniors is not a regular part of aging. While everyone can have moments of nighttime disorientation, if the problem is becoming chronic then you should consult a doctor. Chronic nighttime disorientation can be sign of a serious medical issue and treatment should be sought immediately. Only by having a medical checkup can the doctor diagnose if there is another problem that is occurring. Do not assume that your loved one is simply aging. You should get a medical consultation to determine what the underlying cause is.
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Moving through the caregiving world with grace and ease is no simple skill. However, having good manners will carry you a long way.As a caregiver we spend our day interacting with family members, friends, and everyone on the Care Team.
Common sense tells you that the people you are closest to warrant an extra measure of consideration. It takes good manners to sustain the love and respect between caregiver and care-receiver.
1. Encourage family members and friends to show respect and deference to the care-receiver. For example, the care-receiver's visitors should be treated politely as honored guests.
Noise from the TV, radio, etc., should be kept to a minimum. The care-receiver's rest hour should be respected. Telephone messages should be carefully taken, and mail given to him/her unopened.
2. Preserve the care-receiver's feelings of independence. It is important that the care-receiver have control of her/his own money-as long as she/he is capable of managing it.
3. Use your imagination and put yourself in the care-receiver' shoes. Be understanding and find a way to harness your frustrations.
4. Focus on the care-receiver's needs and not your own. Talk to your parent. Try to understand how he/she sees it.
5. Let go of unreasonable hopes. Recognize that your parent won't or can't change.
6. Express warmth and concern toward the care-receiver. This is especially important when the care-receiver has a poor self-image and many feelings of inferiority. A good caregiver must provide reassurance.
7. Be a good listener. Many times the care-receiver may simply want you to listen.
8. Smile a lot. Be a good friend and companion.
9. Keep confidences. Avoid repeating matters that will not be welcomed by others.
10. Maintain your self-composure and avoid stress. Practice your coping skills in order to maintain your composure and balance.
1. Don't treat your parent like a child. Even if your parent reverts to childlike behavior, he/she always needs to be treated with respect and dignity.
As the parent's dependence increases, it is natural for adult children to find themselves unable to communicate in familiar ways.
2. Don't criticize the care-receiver for occasional forgetfulness and other signs of growing older.
3. Don't take sides with other family members in disputes or arguments. It is better to be known as someone who is fair and noninterfering.
4. Don't let an angry situation become emotionally or physically abusive. Step out of the room for a cool down. Seek outside help.
5. Don't neglect the care-receiver. Make sure your parent gets to all appointments, takes medications as scheduled.
6. Don't discourage the help of others. There can never be too much help.
7. Don't assume that the care-receiver has nothing to contribute.
8. Don't compare what you are doing to what everyone else is doing. Every job in a caregiving situation is important.
9. Don't underestimate the power of touch. As people age or their illness progresses, there is less human contact. A hug, kiss or pat on the shoulder can enhance the situation.
10. Don't treat your parent/family member like an alien. When there are several persons in the room be sure to include the care-receiver in the conversation. Do not talk about him/her in the third person as if he/she wasn't in the room.
A good caregiver is genuine and cares about the dignity, welfare, and feelings of their care-receiver. Good manners are based on good character, which translates to kindness and compassion.