Living with a Parent

10 tips for making daily homecare easier

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | May 31, 2011

Those who routinely perform care giving tasks will appreciate homecare tips for caregiving. These homecare tips for caregiving can make the daily tasks performed for the elderly much easier, not to mention much less stressful.

Homecare Tips for Caregiving—Taking Care of Yourself

1.    At the top of the list for homecare tips for caregiving is taking care of yourself.  If you allow yourself to get run down and totally stressed out, you will end up suffering from caregiver burnout and will be unable to take care of the senior you are responsible for. Many caregivers neglect their own health, and rarely take the time to get the exercise they need or maintain healthy eating habits, therefore they can suffer some serious health issues. Caregivers should also join a support group—although they may feel there is no time, this can be critical to their mental and emotional health.

2.    Second on the list for homecare tips for caregiving involves sharing responsibility for elder care and not being afraid to ask for help when needed—and taking it when offered. Make a point to check out the various services for respite care, as well as to research adult day care in your particular area. Respite care can make all the difference to the primary caregiver. Don’t be afraid to ask family members for help, and don’t try to do everything yourself.

Homecare Tips for Caregiving—How to Know When It is Necessary

3.    You may begin to notice that your elderly loved one is paying less attention to their personal hygiene or the cleanliness of their home. Homecare tips include paying close attention to your loved one’s daily demeanor to determine if home care is necessary.  If bills are going unpaid and the basic needs of the senior are not being met, then it is definitely time for home caregiving. You may also notice that your loved one is losing weight because they are not eating regularly or simply don’t feel like preparing daily meals.

4.    Any type of medical issues can make daily caregiving necessary for the senior. They may need assistance with insulin shots, or other types of medical care such as blood pressure monitoring or wound care if they’ve suffered a fall or other injury.

Homecare Tips for Caregiving—Planning Ahead

5.    For long-term financial planning purposes, you should investigate all the benefits which may be available to you and your senior through Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the VA. It is possible that you may need to establish a power of attorney for the senior in order to be able to take care of all necessary paperwork.

6.    Make sure that your loved one has all the paperwork in order which may be necessary down the line. These crucial papers can include a will, a trust (depending on the estate size and assets involved), a power of attorney, a living will, and a DNR should the senior not want heroic measures in the case of a serious medical issue.

Homecare Tips for Caregiving—Daily Living

7.    Social interactions are very important to the older person, both in terms of their mental and emotional health. Unless the senior you care for is extremely ill, you should definitely encourage any social outing they are up for. Even getting out to go see a family member or neighbor can vastly improve their overall outlook on life, so don’t skip the social outings simply because they can seem too much trouble. You may find such social interactions help your own mental well-being as much as the senior’s. 

8.    Caregiving is stressful, and you may find yourself becoming frustrated and short-tempered with the senior you are caring for. When you feel yourself getting close to the edge, take a break and remember to always show compassion and respect to the person you are taking care of.

9.    Taking the time to install such things as raised toilet seats, tub transfer benches, grab bars everywhere needed, a chair lift for stairs, or even a walk-in tub can make your job as caregiver incredibly easier. Don’t forget to look into communication aids and a medical or emergency alert as well.

10.    There are a wide variety of healthcare professionals who can make your job as caregiver much easier. Look into geriatric care managers and take full advantage of your loved one’s primary care physician. You may need to speak with rehabilitation therapists, dietitians, community care nurses, opticians and even massage therapists in order to ensure your loved one is fully covered for all health issues.



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