How to Set Goals for Your Elderly Loved One
Caregiver in Monmouth Junction NJ
Part of being a family caregiver for your elderly loved one involves setting certain health goals for him. You want him to be healthy, so that involves making changes and adding things like exercise to his daily routine. If you can learn to set goals properly, you can help your loved one to meet them more easily.
Keep the Goals Realistic
When you first start making goals for your loved one, ask yourself if the goal itself is realistic. If your loved one has been smoking for decades, for example, he’s not likely to quit smoking in the next month or so. You’ll have to set a more realistic goal, like cutting his smoking in half or reducing it by even a little bit. The more realistic your goals are for your loved one, the more likely your loved one is to be able to meet the goal.
Give Your Loved One Plenty of Time to Reach the Goal
Part of keeping the goals realistic involves giving your loved one a reasonable amount of time in which to meet the goal. Going back to the smoking goal, a month is not nearly long enough. But six months might be enough to reduce his smoking from two packs of cigarettes a day to one. Factor in how much support your loved one will need from you and from others in order to meet the goal and use that information when determining a deadline.
Take Progress Slow and Steady
You can’t rush health and wellness goals at all. Your loved one needs to be able to make changes gradually, especially if you want him to be able to maintain those changes. Instead of having your loved one give up sweet treats for dessert every night, start by swapping out a healthy dessert one night a week. Eventually, increase the number of healthy desserts and phase out the unhealthy ones. When the progress is slow and steady, your loved one can stick with the changes more readily.
Keep Your Loved One Involved in the Goal Setting Process
Sometimes family caregivers forget to keep their loved one involved in setting health and wellness goals. If you can keep your loved one in the process, he’s more likely to be motivated to reach these goals. Also, it’s important to note that some of the goals you might feel are important for your loved one may be goals that he doesn’t see as important. If you work together to set the goals, you can compromise when necessary.
Setting health goals for your loved one goes much easier when you keep these tips in mind.