Those who work with the elderly often remark that “with great struggle comes great reward,” but this truth can be choked out by the difficulties of the day-to-day. If you want to provide the best possible care for your elderly patients, just take our advice below. In doing so, you can experience the intrinsic rewards that you’ve been missing out on.
#1 Be Flexible
If you’re in the medical field, you’re no stranger to the unexpected. Likewise, when caring for the elderly, your flexibility can be the key to alleviating heightened negative emotions in your patients. When the unexpected inevitably arises, your willingness to pivot is invaluable to the patients who feed off of your emotional response.
#2 Commit to Self-Care
You can’t provide the care your patients need if you’re running on empty. That’s why it’s important to spend some time — every day, that is — on self-care. Read an uplifting book, spend some time with family, and do what makes you happy. Your commitment to taking care of you is critical in a field where you’re constantly giving back.
#3 Keep an Open Line of Communication
Whether communicating with your patients or their families, your transparency and willingness to engage can make or break the patient-provider relationship. Your patients want to know that you care, and taking a vested interest in them by checking in, updating family on care needs, and deepening connections will do just that.
#4 Show Empathy
Aging coupled with medical issues can be quite a discouraging process for your elderly patients. When things get hard, they may respond with anger or frustration. It’s in these times that your empathy can make all the difference. A supportive shoulder will give your patients hope and strength to keep pushing forward. We can never underestimate the power of an empathetic caregiver.
The Bottom Line
As a medical professional, you care for patients from all walks of life, including patients advanced in years. By applying the tips above, you’re sure to make a difference in the lives of your elderly patients.