You’re likely to work with different patients working as a carer. Some of them might be looking for help with their everyday tasks, while others may need assistance due to a disability or any other physical or mental challenges they’re going through.
Because the disabled elderly deal with so much on a daily basis, looking after them can be truly challenging for the caregivers working in the elderly companionship in the U.K space.
Here we have listed down some of the best disabled elderly care tips you can try to ensure your elderly patient or loved one receives the best possible care.
First and most importantly, you have to get yourself educated about your patient’s health. Gather as much information as possible about your elderly’s condition. Talk with their doctor and understand their situation (things they can or cannot do). Also, talk about the improvements or challenges you can expect in the future.
You can also check out different resources available online to improve your understanding of the challenges associated with your elderly’s condition and how it will affect your care plan in the future.
Remember, the more you can understand their condition, the better you will be able to relieve their depression and anxiety.
Join the Right Support Groups
Working as a caregiver means you’ll have to keep on learning and improving your skills. Joining the right support groups (local or online) will help you fetch the right support you’ll need to look after your disabled elderly patient.
In these groups, you can meet and interact with patients or caregivers of patients who’re facing a similar situation. You can talk with them, share your opinions, and overcome the isolation and confusion you may experience as a carer.
You must also encourage your patient to become part of those groups. This will give them an assurance that they’re not alone.
Sure, a disability means a person can’t perform a certain action the way a normal person does. But this is also a fact that there are countless other things they can do better.
For example, a person having speaking issues can write well or someone who can’t see can sing extremely well.
Your job as a carer is to identify those skills your patient is good at. Based on this information, you can set milestones and celebrate them once they’re achieved by the elderly.
While your patient’s safety and health should always be the top priority, empowering them will make them feel more independent and self-assured.
Before you even think about pursuing elderly care as a career, you need to familiarise yourself with laws and provisions associated with the elderly care U.K. Search how and when you can implement and benefit from those laws.
In order to become a strong advocate, you also have to get hold of your patient’s medical history and health records.
It is also important to ask a lot of questions. For example, if your elderly is handicapped and you want to take them out, you need to talk to the administration of the place you’re planning a visit about the availability of a wheelchair and other arrangements that could make your elderly’s visit a happy one.
Similarly, if your patient isn’t able to consume any particular type of food or ingredient and you want to take them out for some food, you should get in touch with the restaurant management and ask for the availability of safe options for your elderly.
Prepare for emergency and disaster
It is essential for carers to have a fool proof plan in hand to protect their elderly patients in the event of an emergency or a disaster.
For the disabled elderly, emergencies such as fire, burglaries, and terrorism present a real challenge. Just ensure you already have a plan handy before you take up the responsibility of looking after a disabled elderly patient.
There are countless resources available online that you can use to identify the safety needs of people with disabilities.
Besides this, you should also make some home modifications to make your elderly’s everyday life easier and risk-free. This includes minor home repairs, maintaining the garden, making changes in the kitchen and bathroom, installing rails, setting up fire alarms, and so on.
Focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle
The elderly with disabilities usually have a harder time staying healthy than other people of their age.
That’s where a caregiver steps in…
From keeping your elderly physically active every day to ensuring they’re eating healthy food, there are many things you can do to keep your elderly fit and healthy.
For your convenience, we have listed down a few of those things for you right here in this section:
- Keep them physically active. Even if they can’t walk, engage them with brain strengthening exercises or games so their cognitive skills and memory stays in the best shape
- Don’t skip their medical appointments
- Never skip prescribed medicines
- Get help for substance abuse
- Help your elderly quit smoking
- Feed them healthy food
Caregiving is a tough job. Caring for someone living with a disability can be fulfilling but also challenging. Remember, you can only keep your elderly loved one safe, healthy, and protected when you’re healthy and happy yourself.
Wondering how you can keep yourself healthy and happy?
Self-care is your answer.
When off-duty, make sure you do these things to keep yourself happy:
– Read books and spend time with friends
– Enrol yourself in various care-related courses available online to get a clear idea of how one can better look after people with disabilities
– Keep on top of your mental/physical health
Your role as a caregiver in the life of a disabled elderly is more important than you think. The care you provide enables them to maintain a sense of self-assurance, confidence, and independence. This goes without saying that all of this improves the quality of the life of the disabled person.