If you’re not a home caregiving professional, you may not be aware of the wide variety of components that go into providing quality home care services. Beyond ensuring that clients receive basic necessities — such as hygiene, help with errands, and preparing meals — there are all the other details that ensure a client is living the best possible life.
These little extras often make the biggest difference between simply living life and enjoying life. And when you are someone who struggles with disabilities, is recovering from injury, or is aging well into their senior years, it is important to find joy and fulfillment as you are receiving care. The reason why home caregiving is so valuable of a service is because it maintains a person’s humanness and allows them to maintain a life of dignity, independence, and happiness.
Fun and Unique Home Caregiving Ideas
All of that said, it can be quite challenging for home caregivers to find creative ways to integrate more joy into the lives of their clients. When so much time is spent tending to things like physical ailments and housekeeping, it may seem like there is not much time left over for the fun stuff. In case you need some inspiration, here are four unique home caregiving ideas to incorporate more joy into your caregiving plans.
1. Yoga with Goats? Dancing with Chairs? Make Fitness Fun!
An important part of a client’s care plan is physical exercise. Doctors and medical professionals tend to recommend the basic kinds of exercises for seniors and people with disabilities. While these are helpful and should be followed according to a doctor’s advice, the exercise routines can also be boring and repetitive. If you find this to be the case for your clients, then don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
Depending on the physical capabilities of your clients, there are a variety of interesting fitness classes designed specifically for people with special needs. Gentle, restorative yoga classes are suitable for almost anyone and are a great complement to physical therapy regimes. There are even yoga classes that incorporate animals such as cats, dogs, and goats so that people get some extra animal snuggles while they are doing yoga. Suddenly, downward dog and cat pose take on a whole new meaning! There are also dance classes for seniors that take mobility issues into account, Chair dancing, which allows people to sit through the majority of the dance routine, is one example. Most dance genres offer styles available for seniors — more than you might think! In San Francisco, seniors can learn dances like hip hop, salsa, and even belly dance! There are numerous fitness options available — Tai Chi, yoga, dance, swimming, walking groups, and more — you just have to do a little research to see what is available in your area.
2. Interact with the Healing Powers of Nature
We are often told that it is good for our health to get out into nature, but what does that really mean? Of course, you can always sit on a park bench or go for a nature walk, but to really get the benefits you need to interact with nature, not just observe it. This interaction is especially important for people who are nearing the end of their life’s journey. Interacting with the Earth can provide a sense of calm and connection for those who will soon be returning to it.
How does one interact with nature? The ideas below are just some of the ways to connect to our beautiful planet:
Feed the waterfowl. This is a timeless classic. Just be sure that it is allowed in your area and that you feed the waterfowl appropriate food — items like breadcrumbs can actually be harmful.
Create a natural scavenger hunt during your walks. Point out different colors of leaves, try to find a variety of items found in nature such as stones, flowers, and branches.
Pick your own fruit. Depending on the season, there are many options for getting out into a field or orchard and plucking fruit right off the bush or tree. Does anything really taste sweeter than a freshly picked strawberry? Enjoying the literal fruits of life is a beautiful metaphor that clients can reminisce on after the excursion.
Make a garden. If your client is in an apartment building, even a few pots of herbs will provide a gardening opportunity. Digging in the soil and watching things grow is a great reminder about the cycle of life.
Bring nature inside. If your client is too limited to get out into nature, bring the nature to them! Start of book of pressed flowers and leaves, make crafts out of natural materials like branches and vines, and enjoy the beauty of potted plants.
These ideas for interacting with nature are just a few ways to get you started. A good tip is to keep a journal or a list of all the activities you come up with for interacting with nature, and to swap these ideas with other caregivers, clients, and friends.
3. Nurture the Soul with Memory Care
Home care services requires a lot of attention on the physical and mental health needs of clients, but it is important to remember the very essence of each individual’s being and to ensure that the client’s identity — their soul — is also taken care of. As people’s memories fade and physical ailments restrict the activities they used to be able to do, there is an unfortunate loss of the sense of self. People can feel as if they are losing their lives, even if they still have decades of being alive ahead of them.
The easy remedy to this situation is to nurture your client’s soul! This can be achieved through very simple ways. If time is an issue, even taking out photo albums during hygiene routines or asking about a client’s favorite memories during meal times will prompt trips down memory lane and will serve as much needed reminders about who your clients really are.
4. Empower Clients to Be of Service
When people need large amounts of care, they can often feel like a burden and that they are no longer capable of offering anything useful to society. This way of thinking can lead to depression and can further complicate feelings of loneliness and isolation. Everyone wants to feel needed and useful. Empower your clients by creating space for them to contribute to society in ways that help make the world a better place.
This can be as simple as letting your clients know that they are a valuable part of your own life. Simple compliments such as, “It adds so much joy to my life to be working with you and getting to know you,” can instantly brighten a person’s day. If your clients are capable, there are more involved ways they can play an active, positive role in society. Activities such as picking up litter during walks, reading to children, visiting animal shelters, and writing letters to politicians that address important issues are all ways people can be of service even when they themselves are the recipient of home care services.
Home Care Services in Northern California
The ideas discussed above are only a handful of ways to add a little something special to home care services. Alegre Home Care provides home caregiving in Northern California. We make it a priority to make sure all of our clients receive the best care available. Our highly trained caregivers are paired with clients who are a good fit for their own lives, ensuring that there is harmony to the home care services they provide. If you are looking for home care services in Northern California, or are interesting in becoming a caregiver at Alegre Home Care, please contact us at one of our many Northern California locations.
What unique home caregiving tips do you know about? We’d love to hear them! Connect with us on social media and share your ideas.