Engage, Enrich, Empower Care in the Home: Five simple but trans-formative principles
1. Learn and grow together.
Loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, can continue to take pleasure in their favorite activities and meaningfully contribute to others in their lives and communities. One way is through sharing skills with others
2. Maintain simple pleasures.
Doing the things your loved one has always done—no matter how mundane—can be key to their happiness. Changes in physical ability might prevent them from performing activities the way they used to, but by adjusting your approach—how you execute and talk about these activities—your loved one can maintain a sense of independence, accomplishment, and dignity.
3. A little spontaneity is a good thing.
When caring for loved ones, we tend to rely on routines—out of convenience but also with the intention of creating a reassuring, predictable environment for those with physical or mental limitations. But too much insistence on routine, especially when it is not the routine chosen by the individual receiving care, can create boredom and a sense of dependence. Flexibility can bring spontaneity and excitement back into both of your lives.
4. Keep a ‘can do’ attitude.
Focus your interactions and activities around your loved one’s strengths and abilities, rather than their limitations or insecurities. Talk about your loved one’s aspirations, goals, or experiences they want to have and find creative ways to make them happen.
5. Tune in.
Truly listen to—or observe—your loved one for signs that they are feeling lonely or helpless. We may not easily come to the solution as caregivers, so it’s essential to understand what your loved one really wants and needs.
The care experience can be incredibly enriching when the caregiver and recipient work together to find a way to make sure both their needs are met – that the caregiver is providing the highest standard of care possible and respecting their loved one’s wishes, and that the care recipient feels fulfilled and involved in their own care.
Words From the Owner
I am often asked why I started a home health care agency. In essence it came from my own family experience. I helped care for both my parents who suffered from debilitating diseases. My Mother passed away 20 years ago from stomach cancer after a long and courageous battle. When Mom became ill, we weren’t even aware that home health care services existed. My siblings and I provided Mom’s care at home. Towards the end, hospice caregivers took over. They were extremely helpful, showing us how to give Mom her medications and a proper bed bath. They also explained what Mom was experiencing and what to expect as the disease progressed. Their help made it easier for all of us to cope with her disease. We realized later that it may have been easier for Mom if we had arranged for home health aides earlier. Their presence would have given Mom and all of us peace of mind that she was never alone.