As a caregiver, you may choose to care for an older adult at home. In-home care is a great way to save money while keeping an elderly patient comfortable. No matter your reasons, keeping your older adults at home is a beautiful thing to do as long as the environment and situation are ideal for everyone involved including babies. So, I am going to share some very essential steps to take care of aging parents.
A report suggests that a supportive physical and social environment can impact an aging person positively. Giving the best care to the elderly not only eases the losses associated with older age but may reinforce adaptation, recovery, and psychosocial growth.
Caring for aging relatives can be a challenge. But with the right approach, you can reduce the stress associated with this job.
The first step in becoming a caregiver is to understand how to fulfill the different responsibilities associated with the job. This vital step will help avoid caregiver burnout. The new arrangement highlights a change in your parent’s life as well as a new chapter in your relationship. Talk through your expectations and set boundaries for how this relationship will work with your parents.
For instance, you might be comfortable helping them round the house. However, you should make them understand that you will bring in a specialist or at-home care for them once medical care is involved. Assure them you’re on their side and simply stepping in to make life easier for them, not imposing your agenda.
Assess How Much Care They Need
Sometimes supporting the elderly can be straightforward – a little help with meals, transportation, shopping, and household chores. But in other cases, health issues might affect the older person’s ability to be independent and manage various aspects of life.
For instance, an older person develops dementia or a related condition. Other advanced chronic illnesses might also limit daily function or cause frequent hospitalizations. This includes advanced heart failure, sudden disability after a fall or stroke, or other health emergencies. Advanced age can also bring in loss of physical strength and general frailty. Other issues include the older adult not accessing the toilet independently due to being bedridden or in a wheelchair. Such cases may require adult diapers like Prevail
Therefore, you should be prepared to help your older parent with whatever they might need. However, you must be aware that taking care of your parents can be difficult. There are several online resources that can help you find out more about how to become certified to care for your parents as well as other specialties you might need to care for them. You can visit Caregiverlist to learn more
Create a list of things that you as a caregiver might have to deal with at some point, such as:
⦁ Helping with daily activities
⦁ Helping with shopping, home maintenance, meal preparation, finances, and transportation
⦁ Monitoring them for safety issues like falls, driving concerns, financial vulnerability, or even exploitation
⦁ Medical and health problems such as chronic conditions that require medications, ongoing management, and monitoring
⦁ Decision making due to a health emergency or mental decline
⦁ Planning and handling paperwork for legal and financial issues
⦁ Providing a supportive environment and considering other options such as assisted living if necessary
Don’t Neglect Self Care
Caregiving, no doubt, has its many rewards, including sharing love and bonding. However, it can be overwhelming, especially for a long-term haul. Research has found that caregivers are prone due to burnout and stress-related illness. The reason is not far-fetched – caregivers tend to put themselves last.
Take care of your mental health and look after yourself first. Signs of overload in caregiving can include anger, feelings of isolation, guilt anger, depression, and helplessness. To prevent getting lost in the demands of caregiving, make a list of your needs, starting with personal. And don’t forget to protect the time you’ve set aside to care for yourself, such as spending time with family, exercising, dancing, reading, or taking a vacation. In addition, seek medical advice if you start experiencing blurred vision, constant fatigue, depression, or any signs of emotional and mental health problems.
Ask for Help When Necessary
Another way to avoid burnout as a caregiver is to learn to accept and ask for help and senior resources when necessary, especially from friends, family, and community resources. Don’t isolate yourself or get overwhelmed by taking on everything. If you have siblings, hold a meeting with them to delegate responsibilities. Most times, loved ones want to pitch in, but they don’t know how to go about it.
Get the entire family involved in providing respite care on scheduled days, contributing to a general fund to pay for in-home care providers or someone to clean the house.
If you feel isolated and urgently need human contact, invite over friends or relatives who’ve volunteered to help at the same time. One can talk over the care of your relative while you and your other companion talk, take a walk, or play a game.
Get some relief by outsourcing the following tasks:
⦁ Consider buying ready meals to ease the stress of cooking or meal planning.
⦁ Get extra help around the house.
⦁ Engage a laundry or errand running service.
⦁ Get a home care agency for respite care ready in case you want to go on vacation.
When caring for an aging relative, learn how to pace yourself to achieve success. Be realistic about how much care your parents need and what you can handle. Set expectations by stating what you’re comfortable taking on and when you might need help from external sources. Take time to recognize that your parents are not the same as they once were.