What Are the Essential Skills Family Caregivers Need?

What Are Critical Skills for Family Caregivers to Have?

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Being a family caregiver isn’t always easy, even though it can be rewarding in many ways. When your senior loved one needs assistance and supervision, you’ll be switching gears and focusing primarily on his or her needs. Doing so requires certain essential skills, which are discussed below.

Empathy

Many older adults don’t like to admit they need a helping hand with errands, household chores, and other things they used to routinely do on their own. For this reason, it can be helpful to be able to put yourself in your loved one’s shoes. This will help you offer care in a way that respects your loved one’s dignity.

Problem-Solving Abilities

Don’t expect caregiving to be a set of routines and tasks that never change. Another essential skill you’ll need is the ability to solve unexpected problems when they arise. For instance, as your loved one’s mental and physical condition changes, you may have to come up with acceptable solutions to help with:

• Daily mobility
• Appropriate social engagement
• Grooming, bathing, and dressing
• Regular transfers (e.g., from a bed to a chair or in and out of vehicles)

One great solution is to hire a professional caregiver. Palm Beach senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Communication Skills

Communication with a loved one you’re caring for may not always be as straightforward and clear as it once was. Some older adults are reluctant or unable to verbalize health-related concerns. If this applies to your loved one, you’ll need to become more aware of facial expressions and other nonverbal clues that indicate emotions, wants, and needs. Communication when acting as a family caregiver also extends to:

• Sharing observations with your loved one’s doctor
• Letting other family members who care for your loved one know what’s going on with him or her and what type of assistance is needed
• Taking time to let your loved one finish saying what he or she wishes to express

Patience

The ability to stay calm and remain patient can make many of your tasks as a family caregiver much less stressful for both you and your senior parent. This is an especially useful skill if your loved one has dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or a similar progressive condition that could result in some unexpected actions or reactions.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

A Positive Attitude

As a family caregiver, you’ll have good days as well as more challenging days. While you’re not expected to be perky and upbeat all the time, it’s healthy for both you and your loved one if you have a generally positive attitude, which means not sweating the little things and focusing on the big picture—providing reliable and consistent care to a family member you want to keep comfortable and safe.

Time Management Skills

In addition to arriving on time and being well organized and prepared, you need to find a balance between your loved one’s needs and your own. One way to do this is with in-home care, which allows you to remain in the role of primary family caregiver while another qualified individual takes over during certain hours of the day or on specific days of the week. Opting for in-home care allows you to recharge mentally and pay attention to other important aspects of your life. Ultimately, this will make you a more effective caregiver, which will benefit your loved one.

Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Palm Beach families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (561) 429-8292 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

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