Caring for an elderly whether it's your spouse, parents, relatives, or friends could be overwhelming, especially when you are face with all the responsibilities and decision making for the loved one. Taking care of a loved one can be difficult and challenging at times. It requires a lot of time and patience. Sometimes you'll feel stress out and tired but just remember that there're help around.
Tips for caring for the elderly:
- Information's Gathering
Know the loved ones general information such as his/her social security and date of birth. Collect information's about the loved one's health insurance, physician, medications, and health history. If your loved one has Medicare, verify that he/she is enrolled in the right plan. For information regarding Medicare issues, contact Medicare Service Center at 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) or visit www.medicare.gov. Make sure the loved one have a will, a living will, and a durable power of attorney in place in which you can access it. In case of an emergence you can provide the information to those who needed it. For information about a will, a living will, and a durable power of attorney visit www.legalhelper.net. We recommend you visit Butte Home Health and Hospice legal and financial matter site at www.buttehomehealth.com/legal.html for specific information about a written will, a durable power of attorney, a living will, and more. Contact your local legal and financial consultant for farther information.
- Plan Ahead.
Ask the loved one where he/she wants to live, in a living assistance facility or at home. If the loved one wants to live in a living assistance facility, than more research has to be conducted such as where would be the most appropriate place for the loved one to stay and who is going to pay for it. Talk to the loved one if he/she had any available asset that could contribute toward his/her expanse in a living assistant facility. Conducting research on facilities and who is going to pay for it are important factors that shouldn't be dismissed. For information about financial support visit www.agingcare.com. If the loved ones want to live at home, determine whom he/she is going to living with. Don't let the loved one live by him/her self doing this may jeopardize his/her health if there isn't anyone there to care for him/her. The loved one may fall and hurt themselves. For information on assisted living facilities within your area visit www.assistedliving101.com or if you need assistance or advice in selecting an assisted living facility, we recommend Community Care Options (530)894-2114 or visit their website at www.communitycareoptions.com.
- Be Educated.
Be aware of the options and technology that are available to sustain your loved one's independence. When caring for a loved one it is important to educate yourself about the type of diseases that he/she has, the treatment options, the symptoms, and the progression of the disease. Being educated would help you understand what the loved one is going through. For information about the common disease among the elderly visit www.elderlynursing.com/ailment.htm or www.medic8.com/healthguide/elderlyindex.htm. You can also visit networkofcare.org for information regarding your loved one health condition, the type of disease that he/she has, the treatment options, and other information for seniors and people with disabilities within your local area.
- Consult With Doctor/Family Members
Talk to the doctor of the loved ones and clarify any information's that isn't clear. Consult with the doctor for guidance in decision making for your loved one. Talking to the doctors may sometimes help you discover something that you might not come across or think about. It's also important to consult with the entire family members before a decision is made. They may have their own view and solution of what to do.
- Medication Monitor
Make sure the loved ones take his/her medication as prescribe. Always keep track of the medication that he/she is taking by writing it down on a list. Don't mix his/her medication up with other medication, doing this may lead to more complication for you and your loved one. For information on how to manage your loved one medications visit www.caregiver.com. Don't dismiss normal aging sign as medication side effects. Medication side effects can be treated and not getting treatment could put your loved one's health at risk. For information about the type of Medications that your loved one is taking visit www.medicinenet.com or www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus and learn about the many side effects that will result due to the use of those medications.
- Pay Attention
Start out by making your loved one comfortable and safe. Doing this will ease the stress level for you and your loved one. Carefully monitor the health of your loved one over the years to see if there are any changes. Pay attention to the health condition of the elderly and monitor their health regularly. If the health of the loved ones decline such as they can't manage to dress, prepare meals, or shop by themselves than you should start thinking about getting help. Don't be afraid to visit the doctor when needed to discuss the changes in your loved ones health and what you should do.
Taking care of an elderly can be stressful, therefore it'll be beneficial to have someone that you trust and could help you once in a while around. You're not alone; consult with family member, relative, and friends of their responsibilities in helping you. Having everyone take parts in caring for a loved one would greatly put less stress on you as a caregiver. This will give you time to rest and release your stress.
- Caregiver Health
The health of the caregiver is also a very important aspect of caring for the elderly. Before you can care for a loved one you have to take care of yourself first. As a caregiver you should take time to rest, don't overwhelm yourself trying to provide all the care by yourself. By stressing yourself out it won't do any good for you and your loved one. Monitor your health regularly and takes time off when you needed to. For information on how to care for yourself visit www.caringinfo.org or www.caregiver.org.
Butte Home Health & Hospice provides support groups that are open to the public. You can call 895-0462 for times. Additionally, check the community calendar in your local newspaper for other support groups. Attending support groups not only provides an opportunity to discuss your situation, we also hear from many people that listening to tips and other ideas from individuals who are in similar situations can be very useful.
- Help is Available
If more help is needed don't be afraid to seek help from other caregivers or agencies. Contacting your local home health agency like BHH&H and review the loved ones qualifications and the services that they provide. Butte Home Health and Hospice provide many home care and end of life services to Medi-care, Medical, and private pay patients within Glenn, Tehama, and Butte County. For information on private pay services, we recommend Butte Home Health Plus. Their website is: www.buttehomehealthplus.com.