- Make time to prepare for care giving. Consider the following:
- Have a family meeting to
discuss needs, finances, health, medications, care insurance. Ask
other family members what their wishes are. Explain that the actual
caregiver needs their support, not their criticism.
- Get help. Trying to do everything by yourself will leave you exhausted. Tell others what they can do to help.
- Provide a safe, comfortable and stimulating environment (wheelchair ramp, medical equipment, shower chairs, toilet rise, handles, railings on stairs)
- Manage nutrition and medications (how and when to take medications)
- Address active daily living (bathing, showering)
- Oversee financial resources and management (pay bills, manage a budget)
- Health Care. Use a notebook to record all medical appointments, prescriptions and doses, instructions from doctors, names and contact information for all medical providers including the pharmacy, and medical insurance claims. Make sure doctors are aware of any other doctors. Take the notebook to all appointments to help you manage the health care.
- Last Will and Testament. See that all adults in the family have a Will, and know where it is located.
- Look at legal needs, and
seek legal advice. Learn to access the available resources that make
your life and the life of the one you are caring for as healthy and
productive as possible. Consider advance directives, wills and estate
planning, housing issues, and long-term care planning. Involve the
person receiving care whenever possible.
- Consider activity resources within and outside the home (family members visiting, activities to enjoy)
- Provide positive activities for the person that you are caring foróget some good videos they will enjoy looking at and laughing with you about.
- Learn to recognize depression,
which is a serious problem with seniors. Some of the signs of
depression are isolation, feeling of loneliness, and an inability to
interact with people. Keeping the elderly involved in activities is a
- Parent/child role reversal occurs
as children become the care givers of their parents. It takes a lot of
time and commitment. It also takes a reciprocal kind of relationship
where both the care giver and the care receiver understand what the
demands are upon one another.
- The receiver of the care needs to be willing to make needed sacrifices
in relinquishing some of their independence. For example, speak with
the person receiving care, and acknowledge that driverís licenses are so
important to the seniors. However, when you canít drive properly, you
have to be willing to give up that driverís license on your own, in
order to protect the safety of others.