By tapping into the five senses, you may discover brand new ways to care for yourself and for others!
Here are a few ways we make our caregiving space comfortable for my grandmom and our family, and welcoming for any outside care providers coming in (hospice nurses, therapists, respite, friends, etc.).
We try to keep my grandmom’s room bright with lots of lamps and open windows. And we keep the decor cheerful, bold (so my grandmom can easily see it), and seasonal.
Usually there’s music playing somewhere in the house so it can be heard from my grandmom’s room, but far enough away that it isn’t the only thing her hearing device picks up.
We also try to laugh a lot, and avoid dwelling on any sad topic for too long in conversation, so there is plenty of positive energy to go around.
Keeping candles and fresh flowers around as much as possible is a game-changer! We also make sure there’s a lot of airflow and open windows so the atmosphere feels fresh and not stuffy.
Cozy and comfortable are what we aim for. We keep the temperature inside comfortable and communicate to any outside help that they have full permission to adjust the thermostat while they’re at my grandmom’s house. We also have plenty of throw blankets around & we have a comfy chair in the corner to relax in!
We keep a little treat dish out on my grandmom’s dresser for anyone to help themselves to! Usually we offer individually-wrapped candies, or any seasonal or holiday treat that brings a smile and a little bit of joy. And the dish is flanked by a note that invites anyone who passes by to help themselves.
Of course there are times when the treat dish is empty for weeks, when we forget to turn the music on, when the lightbulb blows out in a lamp, and when no matter how many throw blankets we have, we just feel stir-crazy. Caregiving is messy and imperfect and very, very human. It is our hope that by simply sharing some of our ideas, we’ll inspire a spark of creativity in your caregiving life.
Let us know in the comments what YOU do to make your caregiving space feel comfortable for you and your caree.