During these times, many are in a situation in which they are caring for an elderly loved one at home. It can be exhausting both physically and mentally. It can be frustrating. It might be unsafe. When things become overwhelming, remember the PATIENCE method (I will explain). The purpose of this method is to provide basic instructions to guide those caring for an elderly loved one:

P is for Promote independence. Take a step back and let your loved one do things at his/her pace. This will provide dignity and enhance range of motion and blood flow.

A is for Anticipate complications. By anticipating possible complications of being homebound such as falls, sores, infection, etc. one can prepare the home and be aware to monitor things closely.

T stands for Take care of yourself. Use proper body mechanics and/or a gait belt when appropriate. Take a break.. eat.

I is for Introduce new ideas. Brain games and new activities can improve mental acuity in adults as well as promote bonding between you and your loved one.

E is for Enjoy the time together. Try not to always think of it as work but as precious time that is limited.

N stands for Never lose patience. Easier said than done but if you find yourself becoming frustrated, take a step back and remember that you are helping someone you love. You might have to go back to “T”. 😉

C is for CALL FOR HELP. You do not have to do anything alone, there are many resources out there such as housekeeping, social work, visiting caregivers, etc that can help alleviate some of the day-to-day load. Finally,

E is for Evaluate. Are there other family members who are affected by you caring for your loved one? Do you have any missed opportunities or regrets caring for your loved one at home? Is it still safe? If caring for a loved one at home becomes too much, please reach out to Two Hearts and even if it is not with us inside our assisted living home, we can help guide you towards helpful resources. Take care this holiday season.

By: Janel Robilotta RN, MSN