If you’re caring for a senior parent(s), they may need additional care. It’s also natural to be overwhelmed by the amount of information on how to properly take care of them. You want them to have the best care, but how do you know what’s best? We’ve put together five senior care tips to improve the care you provide and make your lives easier.
There will always be more to learnThere are entire sections of bookstores filled with literature on senior care. There is also a myriad of options available for senior care, including, but not limited to: independent living, nursing, Alzheimer’s care, assisted living, retirement communities, and in-home care. Senior care doesn’t refer exclusively to assisted-living facilities, although for some it may be the only option.You should also acknowledge that every person has a unique situation, which means there won’t be one concrete solution.
Educate yourselfIf you aren’t living with your loved one, there’s a good chance you don’t know everything about what they need during the day. You can get an overall care assessment to have a better sense of what needs must be met. When you call C-Care Health Services to have an assessment done, all you need to do is say is “I don’t know what type of care would be best for my dad. Could I schedule an evaluation?” Once you have a better idea of your loved one’s needs, you can narrow down what needs to be addressed.
Evaluate your resourcesA budget will be a major factor. You should also consider the immediate needs of your loved one and think of ways to accommodate them. It’s best to sit down and create a long-term budget that is affordable and realistic for you.You should also ask whether your loved one has a long-term care insurance policy.These questions should be answered before you narrow down your options:
Are there any family members who can accompany your loved one to doctor’s appointments?
Is it possible to coordinate doctor’s appointments?
Are there any family members who can temporarily house your loved one?
Are there any family members who can house your loved one on a permanent or semi-permanent basis?
Be flexibleYou need to adapt to any changes that occur regarding your loved one’s needs. Sometimes the initial plan won’t work because of unforeseen expenses or their health is deteriorating.
Take your loved one’s happiness into accountIt’s surprising how often family members of seniors will plan their long-term care without consulting them or considering their wishes. At best, this can lead to miscommunication; at worst, it can drive a rift in the family.It is true that the mental and physical health of your loved ones will sometimes decline to the point where they cannot make their own decisions anymore. But if your loved one meets the following criteria, they are more than competent to have a say in their care options:
They understand who and where they are, and they can recognize friends and family members
They can reasonably discuss their options
They make rational decisions, even if you do not always agree with them
If your loved one has a particular desire or criteria that they want their care to meet, it makes sense to try to meet this for as long as you can. For example, a senior who adamantly wants to remain in their home would be better served by in-home care than an assisted living facility.
Taking the wishes of your loved one into account is about more than politeness. Seniors who have a good relationship with their family members and live in their preferred environment generally live longer, happier lives.
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