Roughly 40 million Americans provide some type of unpaid care to a loved one in the United States, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance. If you’re one of these people, it’s safe to assume you want to help your elderly loved one remain as independent as possible in a way that maintains his or her quality of life. Here are some specific things you can do in your role as a caregiver to achieve this goal.
Lend a Hand with Food-Related Tasks
Getting sufficient nutrients is especially essential for older adults. Fortunately, there are many ways you can encourage your loved one to eat right and get the nutrients needed for stronger bones and a healthier immune system. Such efforts might involve:
• Preparing healthy meals in advance so your loved one can heat them up
• Going grocery shopping together so you can guide your loved one toward nutritious choices
• Planning family meals where everyone chips in on a regular basis so your loved one doesn’t always have to worry about meal prep, cooking, and cleanup
Make the Home Safer
According to the National Council on Aging, older adults are treated in the emergency room for fall-related injuries every 11 seconds. One of the things you can do to help your loved one at home is take steps to make the home safer, which you can do by:
• Removing loose rugs and other slip-and-fall hazards
• Placing regularly used items within easy reach
• Installing handrails, ramps, and other assistive accessories your loved one may need
• Exploring your options with daily life sensors that track your loved one’s activity patterns and send alerts if anything unusual is detected
A trusted home caregiver can also help your loved one stay safe at home. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated home care, Chandler, AZ, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.
Keep Track of Their Medical Needs
A third of adults 60 and over are on five or more prescription medications, according to a study referenced by the National Institutes of Health. If your loved one takes multiple meds or has a chronic health condition, part of the care you provide should include keeping track of his or her medical needs. Typically, this type of care involves:
• Tracking medications currently being taken
• Talking to the doctor about how to best manage any ongoing health issues your loved one may have
• Reporting any new or unusual physical or mental symptoms to your loved one’s doctor
Help with Mobility, Transfer, and Transportation
It’s not unusual for older adults to have difficulty getting around the home or getting to where they need to go. For this reason, caring for a loved one at home will likely involve assistance with mobility in the home and transportation for running errands and going to doctors’ appointments. Depending on your loved one’s overall health, he or she may also need help being transferred from bed to a nearby chair.
Elder care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Prioritize Tasks They Need Help With
One way to stay on top of what type of care your loved one needs most at any given moment is to create a list so tasks can be conveniently prioritized and grouped. For instance, you might have a list that includes:
• Daily tasks
• Recurring weekly/monthly tasks
• Special tasks, duties, or needs
You’ll then list what needs to be done under each category. For example, daily tasks might include assistance with morning grooming, meal prep, and reminders to take pills on time. Simply update this list as your loved one’s needs change. The list can also be given to other family caregivers or any in-home caregivers you hire for times when you need a break or a helping hand.
If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Chandler Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. To learn more about our high-quality at-home care for seniors, call 480.448.6215 today.