family-caregiver-talking-to-senior-man

It may well have started informally, with just a little help here and there. Picking up some things at the store for your aging parent. Dropping off the extra casserole you made while preparing your own family’s supper. Or simply spending more time visiting to make sure things are ok.

Gradually, you may be starting to notice that more care is becoming necessary. Will you be up to the challenge of functioning as a senior loved one’s family caregiver?

A caregiver’s job is very rewarding. It also requires a significant level of responsibility, that may feel intimidating. These strategies can help you make sure the bases are covered in knowing what to expect as a family caregiver.

Safety

There are two components to safety for seniors:

  • Security at Home: Enhance 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 use. It’s also a good idea to remove the senior’s name from the mailbox to stop con artists from trying to acquire access by pretending to know the senior. There should be plenty of outside lighting. Implement motion-detection sensors that turn lights on when activated.
  • Fall Risk Reduction: Senior falls can be harmful. Prevent falls by removing throw rugs and any other tripping hazards, installing secure handrails and grab bars, and removing all clutter and low furniture around the senior’s walking paths.

Managing Money

In the event that the older adult is challenged by cognitive impairment, like dementia, it’s particularly important to assist with money management. However, in any circumstance, it’s a wise idea to work together with your aging parent to review bills, bank accounts, insurance coverage, etc. so that if the time comes that you need to take control of these tasks, you are fully ready.

Companionship

Spending quality time with a senior is a vitally important element of caregiving. While sharing a cup of coffee and chat may be second nature for you, for a solitary senior, it could mean the world. Be certain never to let all of the essential tasks overshadow the need to simply enjoy quality time together.

Wellness

Looking after a senior’s well-being consists of ensuring physical activity, healthy eating and sleep habits, and proper medication management. Participating in healthy lifestyle decisions together is a wonderful way to avoid the sense of being overbearing or parenting your parent. Sign up together for an exercise, swimming, or dance class. Try out new foods with each other. Get a pill organizer, if the senior is not currently using one, so medications are taken exactly as prescribed.  If the senior agrees with the idea, attending doctors’ visits together often helps ensure that all questions are answered and suggestions are understood.

How Home Care Can Help

Still wondering what to expect as a family caregiver? Finding a care partner is crucial for both your parent’s health and your own. Nobody can be expected to address all the care needs required on their own. At Anthem Home Care, a provider of senior home care in Portland and the surrounding areas, we offer respite care solutions that allow family caregivers  time to step away for breaks from care – for as much or as little time as they need. Call us at 361-643-2323 for a no-cost in-home consultation to find out more. For a full list of all of the communities where we provide our award-winning home care services, please visit our Service Area page.