You can have the best home health care Rhode Island has to offer, but at the end of the day the primary family caregiver is the one spending the most time with the patient and helping to make the decisions. While the staff at MAS Home Care works diligently to help you and your loved one in any way we can, there are many things the caregivers themselves can do to ensure the person they care for is in the best of hands. Many of these items are things you have probably done, but it doesn’t hurt to look back and reflect on them. Sometimes it can be great to pick a trait to focus on. This is one of your many jobs in life. Just as employees work on professional development so can you. Even small improvements will make you feel a sense of achievement and good about providing the very best care for your family member. Here are 5 traits of great caregivers:
- Be Organized. Keeping track of medical records, prescription information, and appointments is imperative. You naturally will also have your own schedule to keep in order. Having clearly labeled files, calendars and appointment books around can be helpful. Write down weekly information to remember on a chalkboard in a highly visible area and program important dates into your phone. Don’t forget to set a reminder!
- Be Health Conscious. Caring for others can be downright exhausting. It is easy to slip into routines of quick frozen dinners and take-out. Try to avoid these habits though. Good nutrition is important for keeping your energy up and your loved one healthy. To save time during the week, cook your own healthy dinners, separate them into individual portions and freeze them for another time. After your healthy, delicious dinner go for a walk together for enjoyable exercise.
- Be Knowledgeable. Learn as much as you can about your loved ones condition. Become an expert on your dependent so you can communicate effectively with nurses, doctors and others you may need to discuss information with. Knowing all you can will also promote good health. If the person has diabetes, learn all the foods they should and should not be consuming. If they are bound to a wheelchair, learn some exercises they can do with limited mobility.
- Be Positive. Having an optimistic outlook is beneficial to you and those you interact with. People who are positive cope better with stress and are generally healthier overall. By having a sunny disposition you will in turn influence the people in your care to have one as well. Of course everyone has moments when they are aggravated. Just take a few minutes for yourself, quietly count backwards from 10 or practice some breathing techniques. You will come back to the situation with a new outlook.
- Be a Clean Freak. Germs are everywhere! Especially this time of year with a particularly bad flu season underway. Clean, clean, clean. You will decrease everyone’s chances of getting sick, and let’s face it, you cannot afford to be sniffling under the covers. Nor do you want your family to be ill. Having an organized home will also make it easier to find items you need quickly. Once you’ve done a good deep clean of everything keep up with it with light housework and it won’t pile up on you again. This will allow you to devote more time to the person in your care and improve your mood at the same time.
One additional trait of a great caregiver is they are resourceful. Know your limits and when to call in help. This could mean another family member or friend. It could also mean MAS Home Care. Contact MAS Home Care today!