Caring for an aging parent can be challenging. As a caregiver, you play a vital role in taking care of your loved one by understanding the demands on your time and mental well-being. Undoubtedly, caregiving is a satisfying experience, but it also comes with various daily challenges.
The following are tips on how you might care for your parent, organize his or her health information, and locate support services:
Tools to Organize and Manage Your Aging Parent’s Care
It is essential to organize your parent’s information in one place as it will help you manage his or her care effectively. Here are a few tools that you might find useful as you organize your aging parent’s care:
As a caregiver, you will likely be responsible for helping your aging parent prepare for an appointment with a doctor. You can accomplish this easily by keeping track your parent’s medical history. This information can also be useful in case of an emergency. You might use the checklist below to keep track of your parent’s personal medical history.
Personal History (YES/NO)
Family History (YES/NO)
|High blood pressure|
Please use the checklist as an example of how you can keep track of your parent’s health conditions. For example, if your parent has digestive issues, you can write “Yes,” or “tick mark” the box. The same is for family history and all other conditions.
Medicine Record & Allergy List
You will also want to keep a record of your parent’s medications and allergies. Doing so will help you prevent overmedication and identify possible drug interactions. Therefore, listing the medication your aging parent is taking and keeping the list updated will be important. For instance, your list should include over-the-counter (OTC) medication, prescription drugs, and supplements, such as vitamins and minerals.
Medication allergies can occur when your parent reacts abnormally to a drug or supplement. Writing down the drugs that your parent is taking will help you when talking to the doctor or pharmacist so they can determine what is causing a reaction like hives, rash, fever, etc.
As a caregiver, will want to keep a record of your parent’s treatments, hospital visits, and clinical procedures. Make sure you keep track of your parent’s treatment history so that you can share it during doctor’s appointments.
Your parent may see several doctors, which means you will want to keep track of the schedule. It is not easy to keep track of appointment schedules. However, you can make a calendar or download a template to schedule and plan for an appointment in the future.
If you have a sibling who also takes care of dad or mom, then you will want to consult with him or her to come up with a shared schedule. When you start planning a caregiving schedule, don’t forget to make a detailed list that includes everything you do while caring for your aging parent. For example, if you take your parent to the doctor and your sibling organizes your parent’s medications, you will want to communicate with one another.
Many caregivers manage their parents’ care safety at home. Taking care of your parent’s physical well-being and facilitating effective communication can be concerning for some caregivers. The following are tips for providing effective communication and enhancing your aging parent’s emotional wellness:
It is essential to establish communication with the doctor to help the doctor understand your parent’s condition and develop a plan of care/treatment. You might choose to attend appointments with your parent so that you understand his or her health conditions.
Create a Comfortable Environment
You will want to create a comfortable environment at home for your aging parent to maintain his overall health and wellbeing. For example, you might remove items like rugs that can lead to trips and falls.
Compensate for Visual Deficits
If your parent has visual deficits, you can use the combination of lights, sounds, and colors to compensate for these challenges. You might also install proper light fixtures in areas like the kitchen, washroom, toilet, and hallways to prevent falls.
It is hopeful that the aforementioned tips can assist you as you care for your aging parent efficiently.