When you are caring for an aging adult, you may not be able to start and finish all the tasks you had in mind.
Your loved one’s needs are constantly changing. Sometimes it’s an urinary tract infection causing him/her to need assistance to the bathroom frequently. Sometimes it’s memory that causes him/her to search for something that is long gone. Sometimes, he/she wants to help out with tasks around the house that are no longer safe like turning on the stove or climbing a ladder. Trying to get things done can be trying on you.
We understand. Here’s how to handle it.
- Make a to-do list, but don’t expect to finish it.
- See what can be delegated to family or hired staff.
- Put away from view objects that may trigger unsafe actions. For example, put away the crystal vase if it causes your loved one to try to reach the top of the bookshelf. Or, put away the photo of the fishing trip if it causes your loved one to “go walking to the pond.”
- Put into view objects that are comforting and reassuring. For example, display pictures of family, messages stating they are loved and cared for, or a whiteboard with the current date. Even an old TV program can buy you a little time.
- If you just can’t get to your to-do list, forget about it. Just enjoy the time you have with the one you love. You won’t have him/her forever.
- Don’t forget to love yourself. The care you give day to day matters a great deal.