Caring for the elderly
When caring for the elderly, you need to take into account their different requirements and individual care preferences. Taking a Health and Social Care (Adults) QCF course is ideal if you have a job as care worker in health and social care, or you are volunteering in a similar setting.
1. Person-centred care is a priority
Every older person is an individual and that’s how they should be treated. Each elderly person has their own preferences and the right to be heard.
Unfortunately, catering to the unique requirements of each person can be inconvenient for carers. Time is rarely on their side. However, it’s important to remember that for some elderly people, who don’t have much to occupy their time, small annoyances can be magnified. It’s the little things that make a big difference in care. If carers have the time, they should try to listen to each person they’re caring for and they’ll soon find that they can build a rapport with them.
2. Dignity is crucial when working with elderly people
Life doesn’t get any easier as we age. Many elderly people feel pain, sadness, boredom, and loneliness. Their dignity is easily compromised, particularly if they have a lot of personal care needs.
Incontinence and the inability to wash yourself can be humiliating, so by treating elderly people with respect, carers can help them to maintain their dignity.
It can make a difference if they chat while they’re working and complete tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible. Elderly people appreciate speed and reliability.
3. Striving to understand can make you a better carer
The best carers know that the elderly people they work with may be grumpy, or forgetful at times. Some older individuals seem to regress and become quite childlike when they receive care, particularly if they have had support for a long time. It’s important to remember that they may say things that don’t make sense, be impatient, or express outdated views, but they still deserve compassion.
4. Privacy and confidentiality can be challenging
Privacy should be a priority in any kind of care. The details of an elderly person’s care programme, and information about any illnesses, should be kept confidential, unless you become concerned about their welfare.
Becoming a regular confidante can present new challenges for a carer. They may be asked for advice or expected to offer emotional support. Tensions in families can be difficult to work around, but carers should always remain professional and not get involved in disputes.
5. Abuse, neglect, and poor care should be reported
In situations where abuse is taking place in some form, carers should be aware of the importance of encouraging an individual to speak up and make decisions about what is happening to them. In some cases elderly people can be reluctant to admit that a family member is unable, or unwilling to provide them with the best possible care. Carers can raise concerns with the company they work for, or local authorities.
6. Reliability and dependability make all the difference
Elderly people can lose their faith in a care company or individual carers, if they don’t arrive when they are supposed to. It only takes one mistake on the rota to unsettle someone. Most elderly people have been independent their whole lives, and relying on someone who is unreliable is not an easy task.
In some cases individuals attempt to care for themselves if they think a carer will not arrive. This can put them in potentially dangerous situations, such as attempting to use stairs on their own or trying to climb into the bath. Even getting out of bed can be risky when a person is unsteady on their feet. A fall can often be deadly for a person who is already weak.
7. Communication abilities can vary
Having a conversation can be difficult for some elderly people. If they have suffered a stroke for example, speech may be affected. Many older individuals also struggle to hear and carers may need to say words clearly. Anyone who works with the elderly should explore different methods of communication.
Very helpful article! Thanks. I agree the carer must give his best while caring for the elderly.
Caring for the elderly can be quite a challenge.
In my experience, the biggest need of seniors is to live their lives in the fashion and manner they hitherto were used to.
Once this becomes a challenge, all other challenges begin to rear up.
However, with patience and compassion, everything can be
overcomed and everyone wind up happier and better.
This article is short, smart and right to the point 🙂
Be sure to make the day great.
hi i had a interview for elderly care i did well i just cpulsnt cpnvert how too look after elderly from children i have another intweview this week any advise
How can i become a midwife without qualification?
Hi Chukwudeafu, an adviser will email you. Stonebridge
Some really good information here as i know someone who can use this information to help themselves.
Really glad i found this, thank you.
One of the most emotionally complex and difficult things a person can experience is taking care of an elderly parent..While your parents may love the home care, you need to be familiar with the ways to provide the best of comfort and services to them.Nice article.Caring for Elderly is quite risky.But the tips you provided in this article is very much useful.
Ahh thank you for writing this – honestly it’s such a help! Im actually here as I’m doing some research on behalf of my mother as we’re currently looking at various options for her in terms of caregiving. Sadly my father passed away 6 years ago and the older my mother gets the more she is struggling to look after herself. I’ve offered many times for her to come and live with me and my husband and our children but she wants to stay within her home as long as she can – I think it’s mostly to do with my dad and the memories if I’m honest – also she’s worry she’d be a ‘burden’ even though she absolutely wouldn’t be – bless her. Anyway I think that visiting in home care may be the best option for her at the minute and would make her the most happy which is obviously the most important thing! However I’m having trouble in deciding what company I should go through? Does anyone know of any good recommendations of a company that they’ve had previous experience with? A colleague sent me a link to this company that she uses with her father – has anyone heard of/used them? I just want to gather as much information as I can before I proceed with anything. I really want to make sure that my mother is going to have the best care possible so I would absolutely love any recommendations or insights anyone could offer me into the whole world of caregiving as it’s all a bit new to me! Thank you so much everyone – I’m terribly sorry for rambling x
Very nice post!!! really liked the points mentioned.
Thanks for the sharing
I thought it was interesting that you would have some real advantages to hiring someone to help if you can find the right person. This is so important since your parent should feel comfortable with their caretaker. It would be quite uncomfortable if you would end up having to keep company with a worker that you don’t necessarily like. I would hope that through hard work and perseverance you would be able to find someone that would work well with your relative.