You love your aging parent, spouse or relative. If they need more help and support in their everyday life, you likely feel pulled to step in and help.
But there’s a lot to consider as you start to take on more caregiving responsibilities for your loved one. You may not get involved in all areas of their life overnight, but gradually you may find yourself helping in more ways. Here are some areas where you may find yourself providing care for your loved one.
Talking to their physician
No matter what level of care you’re currently providing, it’ll be helpful for you to learn about your loved one’s overall health. Their physician can help you identify how much assistance they need and give you a rundown of their chronic conditions, medications and future appointments.
As a caregiver, it’s important to check in with a physician regularly about your loved one’s health.
Monitoring their medications
Helping with your loved one’s medications may feel overwhelming, but it’s one of the most important details you can track with them. Taking the correct medicine at the correct dose and time is crucial for keeping them healthy on any treatment plan.
You can help your loved one use pillboxes to organize individual pills by when they need to be taken. Different boxes can separate pills by days of the week or times of day. Boxes are easy for your loved one to understand and for you to check to make sure they took what they needed to take.
Creating a reminder and tracking system can also help. Break out a notebook or binder to manage refill reminders and medication notes and dosages.
For a more tech-savvy system, download Medisafe on your loved one’s phone. They’ll check off the medications they took that day – and you’ll get a notification if they forget. Learn about other handy apps for seniors.
Helping with activities of daily living
Activities of daily living refer to basic everyday care needs like eating, grooming and personal hygiene. Memory and mobility issues can make these tasks challenging for seniors.
Make sure to pay attention to your loved one and watch for changes in their appearance or cleanliness. If you notice any changes, home-based services can help. These services keep your loved one in their home while providing the level of care they need, including medical or non-medical services.
Planning and making meals takes a lot of coordination and may become more challenging for your loved one over time. Cooking might be physically difficult or even dangerous if balance or mobility issues come into play. It can also feel like a chore that your loved one can lack energy or motivation for – so how can you help?
You can plan meals, go grocery shopping and cook to make sure your loved one is getting the nutrition they need. You can start by helping them cook one meal a day or by helping the grocery shop at a certain time every week.
Assisting around the house
Depending on your loved one’s mobility, you may need to help with basic household chores. These chores can include doing the dishes, taking out the trash, cleaning and vacuuming.
If your loved one lives in a house, they may need help with its maintenance. They’ll likely depend on help for yardwork like mowing and shoveling snow.
Our senior living communities take care of these tasks – and so much more. We manage home maintenance and chores while providing daily assistance. Whatever the level of care your loved one needs, they’ll get more time to pursue new friendships, hobbies and interests.
We focus on providing the care our residents need so they can spend more time doing what matters most to them. Explore senior living options at the Good Samaritan Society.
Being there for them
Feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression can lead to serious mental health issues. Listening to your loved one and offering sympathy and comfort goes a long way. Not only will it strengthen your relationship, but it will also help your loved one feel happier and healthier.
Helping them get around
As a caregiver, you can help by providing transportation for your loved one. When driving themselves is no longer a safe option, you may need to help them get around on a daily or weekly basis.
But you’ll be doing more than just helping them get from point A to point B. From medical appointments to errands to visits with friends, you’ll make a difference in their physical health and social life by allowing them to maintain an active, connected lifestyle.
It’s important to help your loved one understand any new physical challenges or limitations they may face. Falling is one of the biggest health risks for seniors. Medical issues such as poor eyesight, balance problems or muscle weakness increase an adult’s fall risk.
You can help keep your loved one safe and on their feet by learning how to prevent falls at home.
Recognizing when they need more care
As a family caregiver, you know your loved one the best. Watch for changes in their health and discuss your concerns with their physician and other family members.
You don’t have to do it all by yourself. Let us lighten the load of your caregiving responsibilities so you can focus on your well-being too.
At the Good Samaritan Society, we’ll complement your care with reliable services and solutions that support both you and your loved one. Learn about senior services available in your area.
If your loved one needs around-the-clock care, respite care provides care when you can’t. These services offer short-term assistance when you need to take time off.
Caregiving isn’t easy. If you’re new to the role, read tips on how to transition into caregiving.