It might have started informally, with a bit of help and support here and there. Picking up a couple of things from the supermarket for your aging parent. Dropping off the extra pan of lasagna you made while preparing your own family’s meal. Or simply spending a bit longer visiting to make sure everything is ok.
Perhaps now you’re learning that more help and support are becoming necessary. Are you up to the task of serving as a senior loved one’s family care provider?
A caregiver’s role is very rewarding. It also includes a significant level of responsibility, which may feel intimidating. These tips can help you ensure the bases are covered in taking care of a loved one.
There are two main components to safety for seniors:
- Home Safety: Enhance the security of the senior’s home by installing a peephole in the door and locks that are both sturdy and simple for the senior to lock and unlock. It is also a good idea to remove the senior’s name from the mailbox to keep con artists from attempting to acquire access by pretending to know the senior. There should be a good amount of exterior lighting. Implement motion-detection sensors that turn lights on when activated.
- Fall Risk Reduction: Older adult falls can be devastating. Prevent falls by removing throw rugs and any other tripping hazards, installing secure handrails and grab bars, and removing all clutter and low furniture around the senior’s walking paths.
If the older adult is challenged by cognitive impairment, like Alzheimer’s disease, it’s extremely important to assist with finances. But, in any circumstance, it’s a good idea to collaborate with your aging parent to review bills, bank accounts, insurance policies, etc. to make certain that, if the time comes that you need to take control of these tasks, you’re ready.
Spending quality time with a loved one is a very important component to caregiving. While sharing a cup of tea and conversation may just be an everyday occurrence for you, for an isolated senior, it could mean the world. Be certain not to let all the necessary duties overshadow the need to simply enjoy quality time together.
Tending to an older loved one’s health consists of ensuring physical activity, healthy eating and sleep habits, and proper medication management. Participating in healthy lifestyle decisions together is a good way to avoid the feeling of being overbearing or parenting your parent. Sign up together for a fitness, swimming, or dance class. Experiment with new recipes with each other. Get a pill organizer, if the senior isn’t currently using one, so medications are taken exactly as prescribed by the doctor. And if the senior agrees with the notion, attending doctors’ visits together often helps make sure all questions are answered and suggestions are understood.
How Home Care Can Help
Finding a care partner is a must for both your parent’s health and your own. No one can be expected to manage all of the care needs required on their own. Hearts at Home In-Home Care, a provider of in-home elder care in Kansas City and the surrounding areas, offers respite care solutions that allow family care providers time to step away for breaks from care – for as much or as little as they need. Contact us at 913-440-4209 for a no-cost in-home assessment for more information. For a full list of all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page.