In Part One, we discussed some of the warning signs that may indicate that your loved one may need some extra care. We also discussed some of the benefits that elder home care can provide.
In Part Two, we will discuss what steps you need to take once a decision has been made regarding senior care. We know that this wasn't a easy decision to come to, but now that it has been made, it is important to proceed as painlessly as possible.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that you have all of the senior's records in order. This includes obvious things like their date of birth and social security number. You will also want to gather and organize all their medical information. You need to have information about their medical service providers. This includes the names, addresses, and phone numbers of his or her doctors and copies of insurance cards and policies.
Medications List And Schedule
You should also take inventory of all medications that the senior takes, including over the counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements. It is important to know the dosage of all these medications so that you can let doctors know, inform future care workers, and you might even need to administer them yourself sometimes.
Senior Health History
You should also put together a complete health history. You need to know the date and results of recent medical tests and examinations. This includes tests like MRIs, xrays, and CT scans.
Build A Contact List
It is also vitally important to assemble a contact list. This list should consist of emergency contact numbers and the numbers of friends and family who may need to be alerted to a crisis. You should also include on this list: tasks, documents, reminders of activities, and other important information that your senior's care giver may need.
Elder Home Care Supervision
For the best results and easiest transition, it is important to stay involved with the home care providers and medical professionals. Though their intentions may be sincere, sometimes they cannot fulfill all their promises and may accidentally forget appointments. No one will take care of your loved ones like you will.
Build An Elder Care Support System
The next step is to talk to as many people as you can who have faced, or are facing, a similar situation. Speak with other family members, friends, church members, and neighbors. By doing this you will build a support system to help you through this tough time, and you will find out about how others have handled this situation. You will probably receive a wide variety of differing opinions, but that's OK. You can then sort through these pieces of advice to keep what will work for you in your situation and discard what won't work.
A Caregiver Has To Communicate
It's also important to talk to the senior about this process as much as you can. He or she may be confused and unable to understand, but you must have patience and try to put yourself in his or her shoes. This can be a frightening time for them even more than it is for you. They probably want to make as many decisions for themselves as they can, and you should definitely let them as long as they are not putting themselves in harm's way. If you don't truly respect them and their feelings, this can cause a rift in your relationship, which is the last thing anyone wants at this time.
Take Care Of Yourself
Finally, it is important to take care of yourself. This process can be grueling and emotionally draining for any of us. Not only is it hard to see such a dramatic change in our favorite senior's behavior, but all the effort required to take care of them can be overwhelming. Relax as much as you can, and sleep well knowing that you are doing the best thing by placing them in the safety of elder home care.
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