Use the SMILE Technique When Facing Caregiving Difficulties

Caregiving difficulties are common, but learning the SMILE technique can help family caregivers create a calmer environment for themselves and their loved ones.

Stop for a moment to close your eyes and visualize yourself like this: You’ve spent most of your life providing care for and assisting others – as a parent, in your career, by volunteering in your community, and as a grandparent. After all those years of living independently and being in control of all of your decisions, you’ve aged to the point that you actually are the one in need of support with bathing and other hygiene tasks. Imagine the sense of loss, vulnerability, and fear.

If you’re taking care of an older loved one, it can be helpful to put yourself in his or her shoes when facing caregiving difficulties related to helping the person with personal hygiene tasks. The struggles your senior family member is feeling are real, and a little patience and empathy can go a long way towards promoting a sense of peace about receiving your help. Let’s face it: permitting someone to assist with such personal services as dressing, bathing, and bathroom needs is uncomfortable at best, and may feel as though dignity is ripped right away from the person if not handled sensitively.

Harmony Home Health & Hospice’s caregivers in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas understand these caregiving difficulties, and recommend keeping the SMILE concept in mind to help these delicate circumstances feel more comfortable for both you and your senior loved one:

Safety: Assistive equipment like electric razors, grab bars, a bathtub seat and a handheld shower can be helpful.

Modesty: Make sure there is privacy in the room and protect modesty as much as possible.

Independence: Empower older adults to retain the ability to make choices, to express their own individual style, and to do as much as they can independently.

Levity: Accept imperfection. Make it fun.

Etiquette: Treat the person as a respected adult, with dignity.

Harmony Home Health & Hospice’s professional caregivers in Salt Lake City and nearby areas provide respectful home health care assistance for older adults. Our caregivers are kind, fully trained, and background checked – so you can rest assured that your older loved one is always safe and comfortable in our care. Some of the many ways we can help include:

  • Wound care
  • IV therapy
  • In-home physical, occupational, and speech therapy
  • Vital sign checks
  • Medication management
  • And much more – personalized to each person’s specific needs

Contact us any time at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE to request a free in-home assessment and to learn more about how we can help you overcome caregiver difficulties and make life easier and more comfortable for someone you love.