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5 Useful Tools Every Caregiver Should Know [Comfort Keepers of Denver]

May 15, 2018 by Comfort Keepers Denver

Many jobs are challenging in their own right. With the right resources and tools, however, many of these occupations can become less burdensome.

One of these jobs is caregiving. It’s tough work, but using effective tools can make it not only impactful, but also fun!

Here are 5 tools every caregiver should consider using with their senior:

Music

Who doesn’t love music? Music can even stir up fond memories or at least feelings of positivity in seniors with dementia.

Music therapy can be used in the following instances, to name a few:

  • When your senior is bored or to use as background noise
  • To help cut down on television time
  • A way to start conversations, especially with a senior with diminished communication (memory problems, for example)
  • A way to help grandkids and grandparents bond, by sharing favorite songs

Pets

Animals can bring out the best in people and make their days so much brighter. This is why many dogs are used as therapy animals, for both physical and mental conditions.

While a senior who can barely take care of themselves probably shouldn’t get a pet, bringing your pets around them (or getting a dog for your home, if your senior lives with you) may help fill a void in their life and boost their mood.

If your loved one is still able-bodied, you may even be able to bring them with you to your local animal shelter to volunteer!

Technology

You’d be amazed at what amazing technological products have been and continue to be made for senior safety and health. Many older adults shy away from these products because new technology is confusing and intimidating, but some of it can greatly improve your caregiving abilities and keep them safer wherever they go.

Some forms of senior tech to consider investing in are:

  • An alarm system for their home
  • Security cameras if they live alone and you need to keep an eye on them from afar
  • Wearable tech that can help them call for help if they fall or have a health emergency
  • A pill dispenser to help them keep track of their medications (this is especially useful if they take many different medications at different times of the day)

Creativity

Sparking your senior’s creativity can not only boost their mood (and yours, too), but it can actually benefit their brain health.

This isn’t the only way you’ll have to get creative, though. There are situations you’ll run into that require you to adapt with their way of thinking instead of what’s “normal.”

For example, if your father has dementia and keeps urinating in his closet, telling him repeatedly to “just go in the bathroom” is not going to work. His brain is hardwired to think that he is going to the bathroom when he goes to the closet.

A creative solution here would be to make a little bathroom set-up in the closet. Invest in a commode that he can use there, and move the clothes and shoes out of the closet.

Another example is to bathe them in different ways than simply getting them into the shower. This may be more difficult than not most of the time, so instead, try bringing the bath to them by washing different parts of their body one-by-one while they sit in the living room watching TV. Then dry them with clean, warm towels, put on new pajamas, and they’re good to go!

Help from Friends (and Others)

We all need a break from work, especially caregivers. Sometimes, having a friend or family member take over your duties for a few hours is all you need to recharge your batteries and get you back to your best caregiving self.

Also look into respite care at your local nursing home. They can also keep your senior occupied while you go run errands, take a nap, or even go out of town one weekend for business (or pleasure!).

These are just some of the tools every caregiver should know about and use. Try integrating them into your daily routine to improve your loved one’s life and make your caregiving duties that much easier!

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