Caring for elderly patients is a wonderful gift and a huge responsibility. If you are stressed about taking care of a patient on top of your day to day challenges, it can be hard to give the best care. Below are some simple hacks that will help when taking care of elderly patients and loved ones.
Prepare Meals in Advance
There are lots of websites that have amazing recipes for elderly patients. Research and pick a few of them and plan or cook them in advance. You will save time and will have something ready if you are having a long day.
Use Pictures as Aids
One of the most confusing things is shopping for two houses. It can be quite stressful keeping up with lists of what is needed. To ensure that you do not have a hard time remembering which house needs what, take pictures of both fridges and pantries so that you can use them as guides when shopping. Also, it will save you some time if you shop for your patient and yourself at the same time.
Use Colored Keys
This one is for caregivers who are responsible for more than one patient. Sometimes it can be hard remembering which key opens what. To make things easier, use nail polish to color the keys. This hack could come in handy when you are quickly trying to open a door or other lock.
Use a Lot of Light in the House
One of the effects of the progression of age and diseases like Alzheimer’s is losing visual perception. For these patients, simple things like going up the stairs or going to the bathroom at night could be dangerous. If you cannot use bright lights in the hallways and stairs, get some LED lights and line the edges of the stairs with them. If you cannot find some, get some glowing tape and use that instead.
You should also consider getting some motion-activated lights because your patients might forget to switch the lights off.
Get Them a Mobility Scooter
If your patients have a limited range of motion and would like to go outside, it would be a good idea to get them a mobility scooter. Since every patient is different, look online to find out how to choose a portable mobility scooter that is right for your patient or loved one.
Lock All Medicine Cabinets
As a caregiver, one of your primary tasks will be to administer drugs. Even though there are apps that will help track all medicines your patient should be taking, they should not do so unattended. Get locks for all medicine cabinets to ensure that you are the only one who can access them. Locks will also help prevent accidental overdoses for forgetful patients.
Use Music for Therapy
Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia can become depressed, aggressive and sensitive. As music has been shown to reduce stress, boost mood, and even calm people down, try playing some soothing music for your patients. Consider creating a playlist that has all their favorite songs for the best results.
Remove Runners and Rugs
Even though rugs and runners are decorative, they present a tripping hazard for the elderly. Remove every rug and runner and instead consider tiles or a hardwood floor. If the rugs and runners cannot be removed, tape them down.
Use Rubber Bands, and Tennis Balls to Help with Grip
One of the most common diseases among the elderly is arthritis. Arthritis makes it hard to do simple things like zipping up clothes, so it would be a good idea to help your patients if they have arthritis. A spoon, toothbrush or fork can be inserted into a hollowed-out tennis ball and be used to provide better grip. Also, rubber bands can be places on glasses and cups to give them a better grip.
Caring for elderly patients can be challenging. The tips above should make things a little easier for caregivers.