It may have begun informally, with a little support every now and then. Picking up some things from the supermarket for your aging parent. Dropping off the extra dinner you made while fixing your own family’s dinner. Or simply just spending more time visiting to be sure things are ok.
After a while, you may have discovered that more help and support is becoming needed. Do you think you’re up to the challenge of serving as a senior loved one’s care provider?
A caregiver’s role is very fulfilling. It also features a huge amount of responsibility that may feel challenging. Understanding caregiver expectations can help you ensure the bases are covered when assisting a senior loved one. These strategies are a good place to begin:
There are two main components to safety for older adults:
- Home Security: Strengthen the safety of the senior’s home by installing a peep hole in the door and locks that are both strong and easy for the senior to lock and unlock. It is also a smart idea to remove the senior’s name from the mailbox to keep con artists from trying to gain access by pretending to know the senior. There should be an adequate amount of exterior lighting. Implement motion-detection sensors that turn lights on when activated.
- Fall Risk Reduction: Older adult falls can be harmful. Reduce falls by removing throw rugs and other tripping hazards, installing sturdy handrails and grab bars, and removing all clutter and low furniture around the senior’s walking paths.
If the senior is challenged by cognitive impairment, such as dementia, it is particularly important to assist with money management. Still, under any circumstance, it is a good idea to work together with your aging parent to analyze bills, bank accounts, insurance coverage, etc. so that, if the time comes that you need to take control of these tasks, you’re fully equipped.
Spending quality time with a senior is a vitally important element of being a caregiver. While sharing a cup of coffee and conversation may just be second nature to you, for an isolated senior, it could mean the world. Be sure not to let all of the essential tasks overshadow the need to simply enjoy quality time with each other.
Looking after a senior’s health includes ensuring physical activity, healthy eating and sleep practices, and proper medication management. Participating in healthy lifestyle choices together is a great 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 together. Pick up a pill organizer, if the senior is not already using one, so medications are taken exactly as prescribed. And if the senior agrees with the notion, attending doctors’ visits together can help make sure all questions are answered and guidelines are understood.
How Home Care Can Help
Finding a care partner is a must for both your parent’s health and your own. Nobody can be expected to take care of all the care needs necessary themselves. At Grace Home Care, a provider of award-winning caregivers and home health in Topeka, KS, we offer respite care solutions that allow family caregivers time to step away for breaks from care – as often as they need. Reach out to us at 785-286-2273 for a free in-home consultation to find out more.