To remember…

Here are a few things that have helped me in being a good caregiver for an elderly parent.

I need to slow down my walking when we are shopping together. To do that, I walk with my hand in the crook of my fathers elbow, so I don’t speed ahead all the time.

Don’t draw too much attention to the slips that begin to happen. My father is the designated dish washer, I dry and put away. If I find one that didn’t get clean, I just put it back in the sink for a second wash, or re-wash it myself. I try not to embarrass him about it.

When he forgets something, I try to joke about it, again, I don’t want to embarrass him.

I have noticed that when he cleans his bathroom, he isn’t able to see a lot of the dirt. Once a month when he is out and about, I go in and give it a thorough cleaning. I want him to continue to do as much for himself as he can, and to feel like he is contributing to the house.

Things I have learned from him. Make hygiene a priority. Get a regular pedicure if you can’t reach your toes. Buy new clothes each year and get rid of old, outdated ones. Eat healthy, but enjoy a treat every now and then. Stay active. Read books. Write hand written notes to friends. Embrace change. Evolve with the times. He is very tech savvy for an 83 year old. Uses a computer, and utilizes more features on his smart phone than I do. He’s pretty hip for his age.

I hope this is helpful if you are a caregiver, or anticipate being one in the future.

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