Is your parent having trouble remembering to take prescribed medications, experiencing problems with mobility, or forgetting to pay the bills? What should you do? How should you respond if your parents are no longer able to perform tasks that he or she was previously able to accomplish without assistance?
The following are six suggestions that you might find useful as you care for your loved one:
Prioritize your Loved One’s Needs
Caring for someone you love can be an immense task. You will want to pay special attention to your loved ones’ wants and needs and then prioritize them in order of importance. For example, if your loved one needs transportation to meet a friend or regularly attend medical clinics, you might start with transportation for doctor’s appointment and then work on transportation to meet up with a friend.
You might also hire a nutritionist to prepare meal plans that suit your loved one’s health condition. Or if your loved one is incapable of dressing, using the bathroom, or having trouble accomplishing other activities of daily living (ADL’s), you might consider hiring an in-home caregiver.
Consider Hiring a Caregiver
Taking care of your loved one can be demanding. You cannot do it alone, especially if you have a full-time job. Hiring trained personnel can help you meet your loved one’s unmet need so that you can balance your career and caregiving responsibilities.
You might create a schedule so that your loved one gets the assistance needed during the days, nights, and/or on the weekends. Any caregiver you hire should have time to avoid overworking themselves, therefore you might consider having your siblings and other relatives assist your loved one from time to time.
Make sure you hire a caregiver who is compatible with your loved one. You will also want to hire a caregiver who understand the importance of promoting a seniors’ health and well-being.
Document your Loved One Care Preferences
It is essential to have a conversation with your loved one to discuss possible actions to be taken to meet any unmet needs. You will want to set up an environment that will facilitate in-depth communication about your loved one or client’s care preferences.
It is extremely uncomfortable to talk to your loved one about death, but it is reassuring. One way to do this is to have an open talk about it and get their input on whether they prefer cremation memorials or burial services. Documenting your loved one’s care preferences can provide you with peace of mind should something occur in the future.
Identify a Companion Program
There are programs that offer companionship services and recruit persons 50 years or older to offer the companionship. Companionship programs might also assist your loved one so that he or she participates in activities like shopping and other activities of interest. You might consider reaching out to your local Area Agency on Aging to identify a program in your community.
Spend Time Together
No one likes to feel like they are a burden to another. Hence, spending quality with your loved one can reassure him or her and highlight the value you place on your relationship. There are activities that you and your loved one can do together to strengthen your bond. Such activities might include becoming members of a social club, traveling together, watching movies together, or taking a low-impact dancing class online.
Take Care of Yourself
When you take care of yourself, you can better take care of your loved one. It can be challenging to care for a someone you love. From time to time you may feel overwhelmed by your caregiving duties. You may also experience frustration as you begin to locate the appropriate resources needed to meet the need of your loved one. It is vital that you recognize that you understand caring for your loved one also means of taking care of yourself.