It might have started informally, with a little help here and there. Picking up a couple of things from the store for your aging parent. Dropping off the extra pan of lasagna you made while preparing your own family’s supper. Or just spending additional time visiting to ensure things are ok.
Now, you may be discovering that more care is becoming necessary. Do you think you’re up to the challenge of becoming a caregiver for a family member?
A caregiver’s role is incredibly rewarding. It also consists of a tremendous level of responsibility, which may feel overwhelming. These strategies can help you make sure the bases are covered in caring for a senior loved one.
There are two components to safety for seniors:
- Security at Home: Enhance the security of the senior’s home by installing a peep hole in the door and locks that are both sturdy and simple for the senior to utilize. It’s also a smart idea to take the senior’s name off the mailbox to prevent con artists from trying to get access by pretending to know the senior. There should also be adequate exterior lighting. Use motion-detection sensors that turn lights on when activated.
- Fall Prevention: Senior falls can be devastating. Reduce falls by removing throw rugs and any other tripping hazards, installing sturdy handrails and grab bars, and clearing away all clutter and low furniture around the senior’s walking paths.
If the older adult is challenged by cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease, it’s particularly important to assist with money management. However, in any situation, it is a good idea to collaborate with your aging parent to review bills, bank accounts, insurance policies, etc. so that if the time comes that you need to take over these tasks, you’re fully prepared.
Spending quality time with a loved one is a very important aspect of caregiving. While sharing a cup of tea and conversation may be second nature for you, for an isolated senior, it can mean the world. Be sure not to let all the required duties overshadow the need to simply enjoy quality time with each other.
Looking after an older loved one’s health consists of ensuring physical activity, healthy eating and sleep practices, and proper medication management. Engaging in healthy lifestyle choices together is a good way to avoid the sense of being overbearing or parenting your parent. Sign up together for a workout, swimming, or dance class. Experiment with new recipes together. Pick up a pill organizer, if the senior is not currently using one, so medications are taken just as directed. If the senior agrees with the idea, attending doctors’ visits together often helps make sure all questions are answered and recommendations are understood.
How Home Care Can Help
Finding a care partner is essential for both your parent’s health and your own. No one can be expected to take care of all the care needs necessary themselves. At Live Free Home Health Care, we are the area experts in home care in Laconia, NH and the surrounding communities, and we offer respite care services that allow family care providers time to step away for breaks from care for as much or as little time as they need. Call us at 603-217-0149 for a complimentary in-home assessment to learn more.