With all the responsibilities attached to being a caregiver for our loved ones, sometimes we overlook the emotional stuff. Building and maintaining strong relationships is an important aspect of the care process. When people feel loved and understood it boosts their mood and aids in healing. Depression is a concern in the elderly, especially those that are home bound or confined to a nursing home. Having close relationships with people who acknowledge their feelings is one way to keep negative feelings at bay.
Remembering to be a good listener can be hard, yet it is incredibly important. We want to give our input and do things our way, but by not listening we could be missing out on some vital information. If Dad is not feeling well you might assume he has a stomach bug, but he could be trying to tell you a symptom that signifies some other ailments that you’re not hearing.
The first step is to stop talking. The only way to listen is to not be the one making the noise! Then give the other person time to get out what they need to get out, without interrupting. If you are relaxed, they will be relaxed as well and able to keep track of their thoughts. You should not be trying to multitask. Give your full undivided attention.
How many times have you tried to express your feeling only for someone not to get the hint? Remember that in your conversations with your loved one. Empathize with them. Something that may not seem like a big deal to you could be very personal and hard for them to talk about. Even if you disagree, be careful of how you refute or criticize. It is not always the most important thing to be right.
After they are done speaking, ask questions. Not only does this let the person know you were paying attention, but you might also clarify something about the persons health or emotions that is a significant piece of information.
Another critical part of care giving is devoting your time and energy. That also means knowing when to take time to re-energize. For home care Maine seniors and caregivers can utilize, agencies like MAS Home Care can provide much needed support. Call for more information at the location nearest you!