5 Senior In-Home Caregiving Tips in the New Normal
By: Rosemarie Tamunday Casanova
As we enter the period of a new normal, taking care of the senior loved one has never been too easy for each family caregivers. With today’s challenging environment and daunting lifestyle, it can be hard to find the time to gather information on important matters affecting the seniors. Even when you have the time to spend, it may be difficult to know where to look for the best possible resources.
For primary health security reasons, family members may choose to care for their senior adult at home. And as long as the situation is safe for everyone involved, keeping senior parents at home is a wonderful thing to do.
For families who have temporarily limited their access to secure senior in-home care services from local care agencies and nursing facilities, considering online advice related to senior care has become their second option in making decisions for their elderly parents. So here are five pieces of tips, and advice for those who want their loved ones to age as comfortably, independently, and vibrantly as possible within their own home.
ASSESS AND UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH CARE IS NEEDED
The first thing to note when looking for the best option for your senior care is to find out how much care your older adult really needs.
Knowing the importance of need assessment will benefit you from making the right decision for your parents. Taking careful attention to your parent's situation is very important not just in determining your present action, but could also serve as a benchmark for future plans. You will need to ask a lot of relevant questions and get answers to give you a complete picture of the physical and mental health capacity of your parents.
In order to care effectively for your parents, you would have to have an understanding of what is on ground. Relevant information that you should have about your parents include information concerning their health. This involves finding out as much as you can about any illness they have whether acute or chronic. Available resources, you need to evaluate the resources available for care. What are your parent's desires or prior plans for this latter part of their lives? And, would they both need to be moved into a care facility? The reason for this assessment is so that you can have an idea of the scope of care that your parents will need and be able to determine your limits.
Related: 5 Crucial Senior Home Care Options For Your Parent During The Pandemic
TAKE CARE OF THE IMPORTANT PAPERWORK
We all like to think nothing bad will ever happen to us or our older loved ones. Unfortunately, as we age, our chances for debilitating medical problems increase. No matter how healthy you are or how young you feel, you could suffer from a stroke or heart attack tomorrow, leaving you completely incapacitated. The fact of the matter is that we simply never know what the future holds. However, you can alleviate some of the stress in a worst-case scenario by ensuring that all of your affairs are in order now. Don’t wait for tragedy to strike. Be prepared.
Collect your important papers in order because when an emergency happens, these documents are going to be crucial to getting things in order. That’s why you need to make sure to collect or file all of your papers in one place. And always make sure to make copies of these papers and keep them updated. Some examples of these important documents are birth certificates, social security cards, marriage certificates and others. You may also wish to create one or more of the following documents while getting your affairs in order. These documents are a will or trust, an advance directive, and a power of attorney.
Many of our clients and their families in the Longboat Key, Siesta Key, Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice area of Florida feel that getting their affairs in order can be overwhelming. You may not always know the right decision to make. But taking the time to do this now is the most important thing you can do to secure your future.
Related: Are You Prepared?: How To Get Your Affairs in Order
PREVENT FREQUENT FALLS
While we can't deny the fact that aging is inevitable, still a good number of the risk factors that contribute to fall at home in the elderly. It can be modified in order to prevent them and where they have already occurred, a recurrence can be averted. Some of the actionable steps to make your home safer include good lighting, no clutter, removing tripping hazards, installing handrails in the bathrooms and steps, wear a fall alert bracelets. Also consider getting a hip or limb protector which helps to prevent a fracture if a fall does occur. And ensuring that outside walk paths are well swept and that unbroken or uneven walking surfaces are repaired.
Asides from these safety tips for in-home senior care, maintaining optimum health and well-being is hugely beneficial in reducing the risk of fall at home in the elderly. A few tips on how to achieve this include eating a balanced diet, especially foods rich in vitamin D and calcium. Drinking a lot of fluids, staying physically active through regular exercise, making the eye a health priority and maintaining regular visits to doctors.
Related: Falls in the Elderly Risk Factors and Prevention
KEEP AN EYE ON THEIR DRIVING ISSUES
There is a saying that "when in doubt, don't go out". Driving is an important skill in this day and age and when we start to lose that skill, it may cast a lot of doubt and worry on us as regards our abilities as people. There are certain red flags that need to be aware of to decide whether or not we will still let our senior parents drive cars the way they usually do. Some of these red flags are multiple auto crashes and near misses, two or more car tickets, warnings within the last two years, increased anxiety about night driving, complaints about inappropriate speeding, problems obeying traffic signs, and an outright recommendation from a doctor to stop driving because of a medical condition.
So it doesn't just stop at taking away the keys from mom and dad when their driving starts to become more of a concern than a beneficial skill, we must also hand back some reassurance to them also that it is okay to get old and to make life style modifications appropriate for their age and perhaps their medical condition also.
Related: When is it Time to Take Away the Keys from Mom and Dad?
SCHEDULE IN-HOME CONSULTATIONS WITH LOCAL HOME CARE AGENCIES
If you want to have a solid idea of which caregiver agency is best fit for your parent, scheduling in-home consultations is the most effective method. Some consultations are provided for free by other in-home care agencies that you can take advantage of. You can gain a wealth of information and understanding about the financial, social and health concerns of senior individuals. Some of the knowledge that you can learn includes a thorough assessment of the senior's needs, initiating advance planning, gaining support with problem solving and establishing a plan of care.
The Senior Care Advisors are individuals who are able to provide clients and families guidance in times of difficulty in making health care decisions. They are the one who has an in-depth understanding of the needs of seniors and aging parents. A Senior Care Advisors guide seniors in the process of looking for the best alternative care service for their needs according to their available budget allocation and preferred level of care. They assist in the education process by providing clear information about the various options.
Related: Senior Care Advisors