May 20, 2022

The Best Caregiver Activities to Engage With Your Patient

Being a caregiver can be a very rewarding experience, but it does not come without challenges. If you are a professional caregiver, you may be more equipped to handle what’s in store for you, but if you are a first-time caregiver or perhaps taking on the role of caregiver for a loved one, you may need additional support or resources.

The responsibilities that you will take on as a caregiver will greatly depend on the level of care that you are providing to a patient or loved one, but generally speaking, caregivers can expect to help with day-to-day tasks and personal care.

The relationship between caregivers and patients is very important and may be the closest thing to companionship that a patient has. That is why it is critical that you work to build trust and communication with a patient or loved one.

Today, we will discuss the importance of the patient/caregiver relationship and share tips on the best caregiver activities to keep your patient happy, active, and engaged.

Caregiver Duties & Responsibilities

As we mentioned previously, the duties and responsibilities of a caregiver will depend on the level of necessary care that the patient requires. Some patients may need live-in care, while others may just require assistance with day-to-day tasks.

Whether you are taking on the role of caregiver or hiring one, here are some of the duties and responsibilities that you may have to take on:

  • Personal Care Duties 
    • Bathing
    • Oral Hygiene
    • Dressing 
    • Incontinence Care
    • Hair Care and shaving 
  • Special Care Duties 
    • Feeding tube care
    • Ostomy & colostomy bag care
    • Dressings & wound care
    • Post-op in-home rehabilitation
    • Administering and managing medication
    • Insulin care
    • Hospice 
  • Mobility Assistance
  • Transportation 
  • Companionship
  • Homemaking (cooking, cleaning, errands)

Caregiver Activities 

In addition to the responsibilities and duties listed above, there are other things that a caregiver can do to make sure that the patient is happy and engaged. This can be accomplished through various caregiver activities with the patient. Keep in mind that not all of these activities may be suitable for all patients, but there is something for everyone.

  • Physical Activity
    When it comes to physical movements and exercise, activities do not have to be strenuous or difficult. In fact, it’s a good idea to check with the physician in charge of the patient to ensure that exercise is safe. If the patient is bedridden or incapable of doing physical activities, there are plenty of other things to do together. 

    Here are some ideas for patient and caregiver activities:
    • Walking outside or in the park
    • Yoga or stretching 
    • Swimming
    • Cooking
    • Gardening
    • Exercise Videos 
    • Dancing
  • Cognitive Activities
    Having your patient engage in cognitive activities can help to stimulate different parts of the brain, particularly creativity and problem-solving. If the patient or loved one cannot perform physical activities, puzzles and other mind-stimulating options may be more suitable for them.

    Here are some cognitive activities that you can try:
    • Painting
    • Coloring with adult coloring books
    • Arts and crafts
    • Word searches
    • Crossword puzzles
    • Knitting 
    • Jigsaw puzzles 
  • Social Activities
    Caregivers provide a lot more than just care to a patient or loved one. They provide companionship and seniors need to have healthy social interactions regularly to boost their mental and emotional well being. If the patient does not have family visiting regularly, there are other ways for them to still socially engage with others:
    • Senior center activities or events (bingo, meeting others)
    • Game night (board games, cards, trivia, etc.)
    • Learning a new skill in a class (baking, knitting, etc.)

Finding caregiver activities for a patient or loved one can be critical to their mental and emotional well being. If the patient once had an active lifestyle and social life, then it can be quite an adjustment to simply stay at home all day. Still, this may not be an option every patient has, especially if they require dementia or Alzheimer’s care. In the event that you are not able to provide care or if you need additional resources or assistance, it may be time to consider professional care.

At Home Care Connectors, encourage our caregivers to provide the very best and specialized care to each individual. With various levels and types of care options, there are options for everyone.