Compassion is an emotion that we feel inside ourselves. In-home care providers are naturally compassionate through their desire to ease the pain and suffering of people around them. Showing compassion to others is one of the greatest human attributes.
Qualities of compassion
- Helping others come out of suffering
- Kindly and merciful
Ways of showing compassion
- 1. Active Listening. Making eye contact and acknowledging the importance of what the other person has to say. Genuinely listening to what they say, making eye contact and not interrupting.
- 2. Encouragement. This includes praising and encouraging whenever possible. To the elderly person who is feeling stuck in their circumstances, some kind words and praise at the appropriate time can be like an emotional boost to them.
- 3. Touch. Appropriate touch goes a long way to reassuring a person that you care. Gentle touch on the hand, a hug around the shoulders helps to balance the physical and emotional well-being.
- 4. Kindness. Random acts of kindness can be contagious. They brighten up everyone. Your kindness and helpfulness benefit the senior you care for in ways you may not even realize.
- 5. Respect privacy. Even though you may, as the primary caregiver to an elderly adult, have to perform some very personal tasks of daily living for that person, such as bathing and toileting, it is still essential to respect privacy, and be very respectful of the person. Protect their dignity.
- 6. Show emotion. Verbal and non-verbal emotions that are sincere and sympathetic works wonders. It is alright sometimes to show sadness by crying or shedding some tears. Laugh without holding back. Laugh with someone, not at them. A good hearty laugh can be an incredible healing agent both for you and for your elderly loved one. Joy should never be held back.
- 7. Be considerate. Respect and consideration go hand in hand. Here’s a good time to apply the golden rule – treating other people the same way you wish to be treated. Remember to say thank you every time it’s appropriate. Be culturally and spiritually sensitive; show consideration for your aging loved one’s ideas.
Giving and receiving compassion is an essential part of daily life. The simple act of you showing compassion can make the world of difference in an elderly person’s day.
For more information on the VA Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit that helps senior veterans pay for in-home care services, or if you have a general question about VA Home Care, please don’t hesitate to call Veterans Home Care at 888-314-6075