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The Top 4 Skills that Make the Best Family Caregivers

by JFS Care
Elderly woman walking with adult daughter
Learn the skills you need to provide better care for your senior loved one.

If you’re providing home care in Los Angeles for a senior loved one, it’s likely that you fell into the responsibility without having any formal training: you saw the requirement, and gallantly came forward to fulfill it. Yet, at JFS Care, comprehensive training is provided to each of our professional in-home caregivers before they’re fully equipped to safely and effectively provide care for seniors. Through our efforts to empower family caregivers, we have outlined examples of the crucial skills needed to give the highest possible quality senior care.

Nutrition: Ensuring necessary nutrition in the elderly can be challenging. Medication side effects may cause food to be less appealing. Chewing and swallowing issues can be a factor. And isolation or depression can have a significant impact on appetite. In fact, senior malnourishment has started to become more and more common in older adults and isn’t as simple as noticing whether or not a senior has lost weight. Speak to the senior’s physician or a dietitian to develop a nutrition plan; and be certain the senior’s fluid consumption (particularly plain water) is ample – a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses of fluid per day.

Infection Control: Being in close contact with an individual through providing personal care boosts the risk for spreading viral and bacterial infections. The greatest defense against infection is keeping your hands clean. When using protective gloves, hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and warm water, both before and after wearing the gloves.

Communicating: Talking with your older family member may seem second nature, but there are several key considerations that can help the person feel more relaxed and avoid damaging his / her self-esteem. Seniors should be spoken to in a respectful manner – never be patronizing or demeaning. Asking open-ended questions and allowing the senior adequate time to answer thoroughly without interrupting are important communication techniques. If the person is impacted by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, keep from correcting the individual, especially if the topic being discussed raises emotional responses such as agitation or aggression.

Documenting: Maintaining good records of any changes noted in the older adult’s condition and providing information to the healthcare team immediately is paramount to making sure your loved one has all of the details necessary to tackle any possible concerns. Note dates, times, and as many details as you can – physical changes such as increased pain, numbness, swelling, etc., along with any changes in behavior and disposition.

Want more advice from our fully trained and highly skilled Los Angeles home care team, or a partner in care to deliver hands-on help for your senior family member? We’re available to partner with family caregivers in Los Angeles to make certain seniors receive the highest possible quality of care all the time. Call JFS Care at (213) 383-2273 or contact us online to discover more about our home care Los Angeles services.