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How Caregivers Can Utilize eBooks to Enhance Communication

How Caregivers Can Utilize eBooks to Enhance Communication

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How Caregivers Can Utilize eBooks to Enhance Communication. Caregivers play an important role for seniors. They are responsible for helping with a majority of personal care, including eating, dressing, bathing, managing chores, and taking medication. Given the breadth of responsibilities they have, caregivers need to have essential skills. One of the most important is communication.

The National Institute on Aging highlights that proper communication with older adults strengthens the patient-provider relationship, which improves health outcomes since there is a trust established between parties involved. Approaching communication strategies does have its challenges, though, especially when a caregiver is new to handling seniors. Fortunately, there are resources to help with this, and our post “A Caregiver’s List of Virtual Resources for Older Adults” highlights how technology makes it easier to access content across a wide variety of topics. This is especially true for ebooks, which are growing in popularity for a reason.

Why ebooks are a valuable resource

Being a caregiver means you’re understandably busy, but ebooks are popular because these make it convenient to access different titles to guide you. To illustrate, the ebooks on Everand come in a wide variety of genres, including those geared towards care providers. Some titles, such as “The Caregiver’s Guide” and “The Proactive Caregiver,” are readily available to educate and inform you about effective strategies for handling communication challenges. The app also allows you to access content offline and on-the-go, so you can easily read them on your device during your break or leisure time.

Ebooks also have the distinct advantage of not being limited by physical demand. Whereas relying on a book might mean that you need to sign up for a waiting list for a popular title, an ebook is much easier to find online. Case in point, if you’re someone who frequents the library, you can access ebooks with Libby easily. The app connects to your local library to lend you books without needing to check out a title physically. While there can be queues for popular titles, you can still browse through your library’s ebook selection and read them on your personal device. All in all, this underscores why ebooks can be a prime resource for any caregiver.

How eBooks aid in caregiver communications

Help bridge connections easier

The American Association of Retired Persons emphasizes that one of the biggest communication challenges encountered by caregivers is being able to collaborate with their charge smoothly. In line with this, one of their earlier surveys found that around 44% of patients felt that their caregivers were inconsistent in communicating with them, while 39% felt interacting with caregivers was too time-consuming.

As such, it's important that caregivers have the initiative to work closely with their patients and streamline communication for more effective care. An ebook that can help with this is "The Proactive Caregiver" by Jessica Lizel Cannon since it strives to inspire caregivers of all ages to become empowered in their roles by helping them overcome the challenges that come with the job through tips on self-confidence.

Understand a patient better

According to HealthinAging, another prominent barrier to communication is seeing eye-to-eye between caregiver and patient. The caregiver needs to follow doctor-prescribed care instructions, while a patient may find it unnecessary and refuse to be taken care of. This can make it hard to find a middle ground.

Caregivers should take the time to understand their patients better to see effective results and find strategies that work to convince them to cooperate. The ebook "Building Better Caregivers" by Kate Lorig, Dr.P.H., can help guide you on this since it includes some of the best advice from caregiving research and important lessons and testimonies learned from thousands of caregivers. Some of the sections found in the book highlight effective communication and understanding your care partner's brain to help you find the right approaches to daily tasks.

Be a stress management resource

It's no secret that being a caregiver takes a mental, physical, and emotional toll, especially when dealing with persistent challenges like a stubborn patient. This can be frustrating and a pain point in communication, as your pent-up emotions can make it difficult to extend compassion when talking to your charge.

Having outlets for yourself is, therefore, very important. You can also peruse ebooks like "Take My Hand" by Tia Amdurer, as this has well-researched advice and heartfelt anecdotes from the author's own hospice background to provide a personal touch in guiding you through the challenges of being a caregiver. Besides practical guidance, the book also includes journaling prompts that you can follow to encourage self-reflection and better communication strategies about what you're feeling about your role.

Article written by Rosette June

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Fading Memories was created to support family caregivers in a simple, on-demand form. When I was looking for advice on caring for my Mom, I needed this podcast. Since it didn’t exist, I created what I needed!
Jen – pod host

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