Tips For Caregivers

Caregiver Tips

When someone we love needs more support in their life, it can become a big job and, at times, can be very challenging. This article provides some helpful tips for caregivers facing challenging situations.

8 Tips For Caregivers

1) Try To Be Objective

Take an objective “look” at the situation and consider both points of view…

  • It can be challenging to know what the right support is for another person
  • It can be hard to accept support from someone even if they are a family member
  • When someone is living with brain change, they may not know that they need support
  • Each person has their own likes, wants, and needs throughout each day
  • Most family caregivers did not expect to be in this position
  • Most family caregivers have not been educated in how to be a caregiver
  • Being a caregiver can be exhausting

2) Take A Step Back

When things are not going well, take a step back and…

  • Take 5 deep breaths
  • Ask yourself, what are you seeing, and hearing that may help you understand the other person’s experience
  • Try to see put yourself in the other person’s place
  • Decide if this a time to take a break or try something different

3) Learn About “Lived Experience”

Try to understand and learn more about the “lived experience” of the other person, meaning:

  • Reach out for support and knowledge. Orchard at Brookhaven is a community resource that specializes in caregiver strategies and support
  • Know what the person’s abilities are
  • Know what support is needed
  • Know how to offer this support in a nonthreatening (anxiety decreasing) way
  • Remember that no one wants to be told what to do

When someone does something that surprises us or seems irrational or illogical we generally label this as a behavior. But in fact, actions activity or actions are because:

  • A person feels out of control and is trying to get control of their situation so they feel more secure
  • Someone is trying to communicate a need
  • Someone is trying to solve a problem

4) Respond

Consider the following when you get frustrated or angry:

  • Stop trying to correct or trying to fix things
  • Keep your voice calm
  • Refrain from “reminding” the person or using the word “remember”
  • Rather than argue, apologize even if you don’t think you need to

5) Connect

Relationship is the most important thing, so:

  • Connect with the person
  • Find ways to support their capabilities

6) Make A Plan

Plans will likely need to change, but consider the following:

  • Make a schedule
  • Don’t force your agenda – being tied to an agenda takes our focus off of the person and on to a task.
  • Remember that everyone has their OWN agenda
  • Think of alternatives before you need them
  • Be creative

7) Talk To Someone

An outside point of view is almost always helpful, so consider what may be available in your community.

  • Orchard at Brookhaven has professionals that can help support and guide you in your caregiving journey
  • Orchard has many support groups and educational opportunities (view our Events Page)

8) Don’t Forget About Self- care
Self-care is extremely important, so consider the following:

  • Find people around that can support you
  • Reach out to a faith community or local support group
  • When something isn’t working take a step back and 3 deep breaths
  • Take a respite moment every day even if it is for 15 minutes
  • Taking care of yourself is very important for you and your loved one

When someone we love needs more support in their life, it can become a big and challenging job. Orchard Senior Living understands this and is here to help. Visit our events page or contact us for more information about the programs we offer.