It can be difficult to know how to deal with elderly relatives, especially if they are no longer able to look after themselves. This blog post will outline some tips on how to care for them and make their life easier:
Create a Care Plan
Ensure you have an up-to-date care plan that is clear to both of you. This should include information on medication, personal care needs (showering, etc.), daily living activities (eating, washing, dressing), social activities, and leisure pursuits.
If the person taking care of your relative is chronically ill or has a disability, this should be taken into account. For example, if your relative is a wheelchair user, you may need to make changes to their home to accommodate this.
Make Sure They Can Communicate
It is important for the person taking care of your relatives to know how they prefer to communicate, whether it’s by letter or PEG phone (if swallowing difficulties mean a tracheostomy tube needs to be maintained). It also helps if you can find out what words or phrases they use a lot, as this will ensure the person taking care of them understands them better.
Keep on Top of Their Health
As well as regularly inspecting the person taking care of your relatives to ensure they are physically well, it is important to keep on top of their health more generally. For example, you might find your relative’s practice has an online service that allows you to access some aspects of their medical record (e.g., test results). This way, if anything is wrong you can get it checked out straight away rather than waiting to see the GP.
Get Some Overnight Help
If your relative cannot cope with taking care of themselves during the night, you may want to get some overnight help (e.g., a carer or nursing home). This is particularly important if they are no longer able to look after their continence needs at night, as this can prevent them from getting enough sleep and make it difficult for the person taking care of them.
You can find affordable overnight nurse care quite easily now. It’s simply a case of finding the right price for you and your needs. Do some digging before committing to a particular service.
Consider Moving Them in with You
If the person taking care of your relative is struggling to cope, and it isn’t possible to get any overnight help, you may want to consider moving them in with you. This should only be considered as a last resort and will only work if everyone (including your relative) agrees that this is what they want.
If you do decide to do this, it is important to remember that you will need to make changes to your home in order to accommodate them. Fortunately, you can get paid looking after your relative thanks to Medicaid insurance through CDPAP Agency that acts as an intermediary that provides support and ongoing care. If you find that this isn’t working or you are struggling to meet all of their needs then you can start to look into elder home care.
Look After Yourself, Too
Remember, you can’t care for others if you are not taking care of yourself. Even if the person who is struggling with caring responsibilities is you, looking after your own needs is very important. Make sure you take regular breaks away from the situation so that you don’t burn out.