Elderly live-in care patients can span the whole spectrum of health conditions, from completely healthy to suffering from multiple issues and as such the way that live-in carers deal with them on a daily basis can differ widely.
According to the No Place like Home report people much prefer to be cared for in their own homes as they age and staying at home brings a host of benefits to an elderly person. For a live-in carer you’ll know that there are lots of benefits too not least of which is the opportunity to really bond with your patient both in the home and out.
Know Their Limits
As a person ages they naturally slow down. Even those who are relatively fit and healthy in old age can struggle to keep up a pace when walking. Your job as a carer is to go at their pace, not yours, so if you take your patient out for the day make sure you plan enough time to get where you want to be and back again. If your patient needs to stop and rest at regular intervals look for somewhere they can comfortably sit preferably out of the weather. If necessary hire a mobility scooter for the day.
Plan for Everything
In some cases going out and about with an elderly person is not unlike setting out with a small child in that you generally have to take quite a bit of paraphernalia with you! Elderly people often need to take several medications every day; someone with diabetes may need to eat and drink at strict intervals during the day or may need to take their medication while they’re out. Before you set off anywhere make a list of all medications you need to take and pack these carefully into your bag along with any food snacks if necessary.
Dress for the Weather
Older people can lose some of their ability to cope with whatever the weather throws at them and the weather should be a big factor in whether you go out or not. If it is particularly hot make sure your patient wears light, loose clothing and has some protection for their head; when cold make sure they wrap up warm and wear appropriate shoes or boots so they have less chance of slipping.
Dementia patients can show confusion when it comes to dressing properly and can even be hostile to efforts made to get them to dress correctly so take extra time and patience in helping them with what to wear for a trip out. Also make sure they have some ID on them in case they wander away.
When it comes to getting out and about with your live-in care patient the important thing is to plan carefully, go only where they want to go, allow as much time as they need and above all, make it fun. Find out more at the Live-in Care Hub.