by Internet Medical Society
Sometimes it is hard for us to find the strength in our hearts and take good care of our parents when they get old. People usually try and find some of the best nursery homes, but that might not be what they deserve. Since the parents took great care of us and made sure we grew up to be proper well-mannered adults, we owe it to them to take good care of them right at home.
Elderly home care is not nearly as easy as simple babysitting your cousin. The elderly person will need your full attention and help, whether they are suffering from dementia, broken hip or any other disease or handicap. You need to be careful, thoughtful and patient, and asking your friends and family for help is a desirable option. Even though this may seem tough job at the beginning, do not get discouraged, because your parents need you. Instead, take a deep breath, collect your thoughts and here is what you should pay attention to.
Have all the Information
As a caregiver you will have to know everything about your loved ones in order to take proper care of them. Knowing everything includes gathering life information of your loved ones, such as date of birth and Social Security number, because these digits allow you access to many services. Also, you should have information about your loved one’s medical providers and health insurance. For example, have the names, phone numbers and addresses of senior’s doctors, pharmacy and dentists; copy the health insurance policies, insurance cards and Medicare card.
Then, you will need dates and results of all the recent medical tests, exams, X-rays, CT scans and MRIs, as well as the complete health history of the person you are taking care of and the health history of their parents and siblings. It is desirable to create your own filing system for all of these documents and information. Being organized saves you a lot of precious time, and looking and acting confident provides insurance and confidence to your elderly parent or family member.
This does not mean you have to get a medical degree, but you should learn as much as possible about the conditions that are affecting the senior. Do the Internet research about the illness or conditions of your loved ones, talk to the doctors, search for some medical books and you can even contact organizations and associations that have information about the disorder. Take your time and study the symptoms and progression of your loved one’s disease in order to be prepared and know what might come next. Also, find all the available treatments and medication your loved one needs. Make a list of all the medications the senior uses; write down the right dosage amounts and schedules for medications and any necessary instructions. All of the medical supplies should be easily accessible to you and your senior, and it should contain important medication for the condition they suffer from as well as the first-aid kit and any emergency drugs.
Get some Help
Caregiving could be stressful and you should never engage into this alone. Even if your loved one is at your home or their own, you should try and include the rest of the family to help the senior. Organize regular family gatherings; organize shifts and schedules of taking care of the senior and you should all participate equally. Try and engage as many people as possible and give everyone a chance to express their feelings and ideas for taking the proper care of your loved one. Team work will only encourage communication which can greatly contribute to making good decisions in no time, and you do not have to carry the burden on your own.
Be Kind and Patient
You have to remember that this is not about you and that your loved one might even feel uncomfortable because they need to be taken care of. This lack of confidence and vulnerability can greatly affect the mood of the senior, making them cranky, depressed and even rude. You have to bear in mind that this is not because they do not love you or judge you; it is because they are scared. To help them overcome this lack of self-esteem, you have to endure all the insults and nagging, and only be kind and tolerant.
Try and get them into a better mood by simply listening to their thoughts, stories and problems. Show them that you care, make them laugh and show that you will be there to help no matter what happens. Involve the rest of the family, neighbors and friends; teach them how to be patient and you all should spend some time with your elderly loved one. By paying attention and expressing love, the senior will feel more comfortable and confident, thus making the whole caregiving job more pleasant and enjoyable.
Remember that this is not an easy job. You have to be prepared for anything and to know how to react in case of emergency. But above all you need to be patient and kind in order to keep your loved one in a good mood and filled with confidence.