The aging population margin is increasing by the day. This is becoming a challenge for governments, policymakers, and healthcare providers to handle. This also affects everyone who has or will have an older family member. However, all is not lost. If you’re new to taking care of an elderly loved one, you’re not alone. Thousands of people like you already do it. It can be a joy to take care of your senior loved one. Sometimes, it can be confusing, frustrating, exhausting, and stressful. Often, issues such as safety, communication, and hygiene, present problems for caregivers. This is why this guide offers tips to take care of your loved one better.
- Find Help with Caregiving
If you have a busy schedule, it makes sense to find help with caregiving. Sometimes, finding caregiving help can take a lot of time and effort. But remember, this investment will pay off in the future. When finding help, Arcare says you need to be patient and careful with the entire process. You want a caregiver who can understand the needs of your elderly loved one.
- Inspect the Medication
Ensure your senior loved one is well-supplied with their medications. You want to ensure all their prescriptions are filled and refilled as required. If they’re on multiple medications, consider buying a pill box organizer. It comes labeled with compartments indicating the days of the week and the AM and PM doses. This will help simplify their medication-taking process. If they’ve been prescribed a new medication, ask the physician about potential side effects.
- Assess the Financial Implications
You need to evaluate the financial issues you may face as a caregiver. Also, consider any legal implications involved. If your senior loved one goes into a nursing home, will they afford it? Would you sell any of their property? How do attorneys work? Have they written a will? Dealing with these issues can be upsetting. However, it’s best to understand the details, so you’re not taken by surprise.
- Set a Realistic Caregiver Budget
Once you understand your loved one’s needs, you need to evaluate how much of it you can handle. Before you list additional help, assess what you have. If there are issues out of your scope, be clear about it with your loved one and yourself. Be honest about what you can provide without sacrificing your critical issues. Avoid taking too much.
- Make Some Modifications in their Homes
Get a house inspector to check their house for any safety hazard. While some could be simple fixes, others need a more robust modification. Some common fixes include installing a raised toilet or a ramp. The ramp is essential for walkers or wheelchairs. Additionally, remember to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These will come in handy should a fire erupt.
- Keep them involved and Active
Your elderly loved one needs to be kept involved and active. Exercising is the best way to keep them healthy. This has immense benefits to their mental and physical well-being. Sometimes, the elderly can become isolated and lonely if they have lost a spouse. Family engagements are another way to keep your elderly loved one involved. This ensures they’re not cut out of social activities.
- Maintain Your Health
You cannot take care of someone else if your health is in shambles. Take regular breaks and delegate some tasks to other people. Step out sometimes and consider exercising too. Sometimes, people feel guilty taking care of themselves. However, it’s vital to maintain your well-being. This allows you to provide the best quality of care to your elderly loved one.
- Flexibility Matters
Abiding by a daily schedule is critical. However, avoid making the schedule too rigid that there’s no room for flexibility. Unplanned issues are bound to come up, such as appointment cancellations, changes in medication, etc. However, these things shouldn’t impede your daily routine. Consider making a back-up plan to prepare for the unexpected.
- Set Boundaries
Caregiving isn’t easy. You need to start by setting boundaries. When you have no limits and do everything that is asked of you, this brews a disaster recipe. Sometimes, it’s difficult to say “no” to an elderly loved one. With boundaries, both you and your loved one understand what expectations each party needs to meet. Over time, this creates mutual respect and autonomy.
Over your caregiving period, you’ll learn a lot of things. Ensure you discuss these things with your loved one. Bring them up-to-date with any developments involving their routines, health, and medication. This ensures they don’t feel left out. Also, it makes them feel they’re needed and valuable. Finally, if you can’t handle everything, seek help from professionals. Over to you!