Helping a loved one grow old at home can mean many things, from stopping by their house every few days to check on their okay to helping your spouse or partner with tasks such as bathing and preparing food, as well as activities. which include administering medications and giving injections. Whatever level of home care you provide, these tips can help you help your loved one stay at home as long and as comfortably as possible.
Make A Plan
Planning for both the short and long term is essential. You need to keep up with the day-to-day, doctor’s appointments and prescription drug stock while thinking about the “what if …” age and current status of your family member.
You can’t anticipate every situation, but thinking ahead now will help you respond more quickly and effectively in the event of an emergency. And don’t face the situation alone. Reach out to others to build a larger team of family, friends, and others who can help you.
Define tasks and reach consensus
Ask your team members what they are willing to do to contribute to the home care of your loved one. Even if they live far away, they can do tasks like paying bills, ordering prescription drugs, and making medical appointments. Make a plan with them.
Be honest with yourself
What are you willing to do? If hands-on tasks like helping your loved one bathe make you uncomfortable, ask if another team member can do them. Or determine if there is money available to hire someone to help.
Make a summary of the plan in writing
To avoid misunderstandings, a written record will ensure that all members of your team, including your loved one, agree. Remember, of course, that the plan will likely evolve; update it as time goes by.
Make Security Accommodations
If the person you care for is having trouble getting around or has vision or hearing problems, you should think of ways to make the homeless dangerous.
Consider consulting with a professional, such as an occupational therapist, geriatric care manager, or in-home aging specialist, who can assess the home and make recommendations. You must be alert to changing needs.
Make simple changes to prevent falls
Some basic, inexpensive changes include eliminating fall hazards (such as rugs), making sure your home is well lit (use automatic night lights), and installing adjustable shower seats, grab bars and handrails.
Adjust your plan to account for dementia
Dementia brings with it particular concerns about wandering and self-injury, but there are many ways to reduce your risks. Some examples include installing remote locks, disabling the range when not in use, and maintaining the water heater temperature at or below 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
If necessary, make more extensive modifications
If your physical limitations are more severe, you may need to hire a contractor to make structural changes, such as installing wheelchair ramps, adjustable countertops, and wider doors.
Manage Health Care Needs
Caring for an elderly or chronically ill family member may involve performing some basic medical tasks and following a confusing mix of medications for a number of ailments. The key is to stay organized and know how to get the help you need.
Stay on top of medications
Create and maintain an up-to-date list of medications that includes the name, dosage, prescribing physician, and other pertinent information; this is a useful document to take to medical appointments.
Prepare to perform medical tasks
After a loved one’s hospitalization, many family caregivers must perform difficult tasks around the home, such as injecting medications and inserting catheters. Get detailed instructions and even a demonstration of how to perform the necessary procedures before leaving the hospital.
Get home health services
Medicare will cover certain medically necessary home services, including part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care; or physical, occupational, or speech therapy. A patient who is considered to be homebound or unable to go to the doctor’s office may be eligible for these services on an ongoing basis.
Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
Giving care can consume you, especially if you share a home with the person you care for. You may have to fill the roles of a nurse, personal counselor, nutritionist, and social manager.
All of these functions are important in maintaining your loved one’s physical and mental health. But don’t neglect your own health.
Address social needs
Isolation and loneliness are often associated with poorer health. That’s why helping your loved one (and yourself) avoid them is a key part of caring. You could find a community senior arts program, invite friends and family to visit or go out for a meal together.
Stay on top of nutrition
Be aware of dietary restrictions and encourage your loved one to eat a balanced diet and avoid processed foods. Find out about food delivery programs and make sure your loved one drinks plenty of fluids; dehydration can cause fainting spells, headaches, and other disorders.
Staying moving can help older people maintain strength, balance, energy, and brain health, among other things. Your loved one’s abilities will vary and should be discussed with your doctor, but the exercise routine could include activities such as walking, seated yoga, swimming, and lifting light weights.
Define boundaries for the relationship
Everyone needs a level of privacy, especially if the person you care for lives with you and your spouse or partner. Ideally, you should have some separation between common areas and be able to schedule time together as a couple.
Depending on the severity of your loved one’s problems, you may need a little (or a lot!) Of help.
Count on your team to help you with some home care tasks or replace you so you can rest. Don’t feel guilty: your own health – and the quality of care you provide – will suffer if you try to do everything and don’t take time for yourself.
Ask friends and family for help
There may be many people in your life who would like or at least be willing, to give you a hand if you ask. Maybe someone could pick up a prescription the next time you go to the pharmacy, or a neighbor could bring food once a week.
Hire someone to do some household chores
Consider paying for relatively minor services that will ease the burden, such as weekly house cleaning, yard care, or grocery delivery. If you don’t live with your loved one, you may be able to do the same in your own home.
Hire home care
You can do it through an agency or hire a caregiver directly. Either way, check references and background checks, then carefully monitor performance (stories recommending caution abound). It is sensible to trust the opinion of others. Ask other caregivers for recommendations.
Take care of your mental health. As a caregiver, you are at a higher risk of being stressed and depressed. If one of these problems becomes severe, seek help from a mental health professional. And consider reaching out to other people who care for their loved ones to share support and advice.
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