5 Meaningful Activities as a Personal Care Assistants

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5 MEANINGFUL ACTIVITIES AS A FAMILY CAREGIVER

As a family caregiver, it is imperative that you plan enough activities for the elders that you are responsible for. Without proper and enough activities, loved ones in care might not get enough exercise and might withdraw within themselves, which isnÔÇÖt good for their mental or physical health. Some of the activities that personal care assistants can plan are listed below.

Social Activities:

Living in care homes can be a little disorienting for senior citizens, especially in the initial phases. Having come into an alien environment, they often find it difficult to adjust, and in many there might also creep in a sense of abandonment. It is critical to ensure that loved ones do not retreat into a shell, since that will inevitably lead to depression and affect the mental health of the person. Engaging the residents of a care home in group activities and encouraging socialization amongst the residents will ensure that they settle in better, make new friendships and find motivation. The ability to look forward to anything is an incredibly powerful feeling, which will inevitable happen if loved ones are socially engaged and are able to inculcate meaningful relationships.

Physical Exercise:

Just like social stimulation, physical stimulation is a must. Engage loved ones in light physical activities and make them fun. They can range from light aerobics on fun, hip music to even social activities and games that would require physical exercise.

Encourage creativity:

Most people go through their entire working lives without finding time to indulge in activities they love. Someone might like playing the guitar, someone might like pottery while some might have a rare gift in calligraphy! Retirement is the perfect time to indulge in these activities. Even if any senior does not show any particular bent towards a hobby or activity, encourage the senior towards something creative and fun. It helps the loved ones find happiness and live in the moment.

Responsibility:

We tend to avoid giving loved ones too many responsibilities thinking that they would appreciate us taking the load off their back. In reality though, a lack of responsibilities makes most people lose a sense of purpose and even self-respect in old age. Personal care assistants must learn where to lay off and must find a way to make loved ones feel important and responsible. These can be by making them responsible for various aspects of the very care home they are in. Put them in charge of light but important work and show a degree of dependence, admiration and gratitude for their contribution. This will help them retain self-respect and be in a healthy space mentally. Also, always show a keenness to learn from them. Nothing pleases the average senior more than the feeling that they still have a few old tricks up their sleeve which can draw admiration from and be valuable to the younger generation. Trust me, it will give them a sense of purpose.

Spiritual Activities:

Old age is when most finally embrace their mortality. Hence you will see older people being more spiritual and religious. Worldly comforts mean less to them and they have a lot of time to reflect on the lives that they have spent. Family Caregivers must therefore design activities for the people in care based on each individual personÔÇÖs religious beliefs or even lack of them. Accordingly you can plan activities like church visits, spiritual yoga practices etc.

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Victoria Bryant, is a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) who leads the care team. Dr. Bryant has held numerous leadership positions and has been recognized in such distinctions as Top 30 Influential Women of Houston 2016, Houston Business JournalÔÇÖs 40 under 40, Houston WomanÔÇÖs Magazine 50 Most Influential Women of 2013, VAN TV Community Leader Award 2015, Texas Executive Women Women On The Move 2015, and others.

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