Each individual has different needs, but there are some needs that are universal and need to be considered by the family looking for senior care for an elderly loved one. Some of these needs include the most basic activities of daily living: bathing, eating, walking, transferring, and using the bathroom. If your loved one needs help with something in these categories, you might want to consider getting an in home caregiver for your elderly loved one.
This is a big step and it is often an uncomfortable one. But having an in home caregiver can be a huge help to all parties involved. For one, it gives your loved one the help that they need to make it through the day safely. It also helps the families that might otherwise be forced to provide the care themselves. This is a huge benefit because it allows family members to continue working at their jobs and continue to earn an income. In home care is not a cop out, rather, it is a tool that you can use to enhance all of the people involved in the situation’s lives.
Having your goals for a caregiver outlined and written out on paper can be a stress reliever, too. Because you or your elderly loved one might be a bit nervous about having a caregiver coming over to the house, the checklist can act as a guide for the caregiver in order to ensure that all of your objectives are met on a routine basis. The checklist can include basic things such as dispensing medications at the correct times, bathing information, or it can list the meals and food that you want your elderly loved one to have that day. The checklist is an important communication tool because, not only does it help you to make sure that your relative gets the proper care, it is a way for the caregiver to let you know that they have fulfilled your wishes. By writing notes and checking off activities, the checklist method is a two-way mode of communication.
If your loved one has a more intense disability such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, stroke related impairments, or are unable to move around on his own, the checklist becomes much more important. This will help the new caregiver who might not be entirely familiar with your loved one’s situation to know exactly what to do on day one of their time there. Eventually, the checklist will become a daily memorized routine. The caregiver’s checklist can be reduced in this instance to just a daily note that you might want to leave for them to be aware of any specific different activities they might need to do. The caregiver can also leave you a note about how the day went.
Care giving can be a tough profession. By caring for another, you are giving up a lot of your personal time. This is just one more reason why caregivers are such a blessing. They give so much, and ask for so little in return. If you are a caregiver, you know firsthand that it can be lonely and depressing at times. But this doesn’t mean that you should give up. The rewards of helping out another individual, especially one that cannot easily take care of themselves, far outweighs the negative aspects of this profession.
In order to take care of yourself, there are some things that you need to do. Take time to build relationships with your friends and family. Care giving can eat up so much of our time that sometimes we forget that we need outside relationships. Whether it’s with a boyfriend, a spouse, or just a good friend, make sure that you are devoting enough time each week to your loved ones. While caring for another is a noble thing, we need those other relationships to survive in order to stay happy and mentally healthy. Don’t neglect friends and family just because you are tired or rundown. Taking time with your outside friends and family will energize you over the long run.
Exercise is important too. This is usually a solitary measure, but it doesn’t have to be. While you want to take time for your physical health, you can also foster your friendships. Going for a run with your best friend, or hitting the gym together with your spouse can be a great way to make time for your loved ones while at the same time you are keeping yourself happier and less stressed. Finding time to exercise is often difficult. Waking up a half hour earlier than normal can help you a lot.
Finally, you need to watch your diet. Being in someone else’s home can easily lead to eating junk food or fast food. These things are so much easier when you are on the go all the time, it’s hard to resist the lure of a McDonald’s lunch every day. But by taking five minutes to pack a healthy lunch every day, you can stay healthier and even lose that weight you’ve been trying to shake. Diet is one of the most overlooked facets of staying healthy. But eating right can be a big stress reliever as you will not have to worry about things like your cholesterol as much. Eating healthily can also increase your energy levels, thus giving you more time for the other things that you need to do to stay stress free.
Taking care of yourself is important. If you are a caregiver, you know how tough the profession can be. Doing the right things can make this an even more enjoyable experience than it already is.
As you know, our parents’ generation did not grow up with the same accoutrements that exist today. There were no computers, no Google searches to help them find information. Now that that generation has started getting older, finding some sort of care for them is essential. While many care giving services have websites, many folks of the older generation did not have the tech savvy in order to find a caregiver on the web. This is why getting help from their children or grandchildren is so crucial. The web has made finding a caregiver so much easier, but the point is defeated if the people that these services help out does not have the know-how to find them.
Any business owner will tell you that the web has done wonders for their business. Now, the world really is at your fingertips. You can search stores in New York while living in California just with a few clicks on the keyboard. So it is only natural that in home and long term care providers have created web presences. The difficulty lies in connecting these services with their intended patrons.
Your elderly family member doesn’t need to know how to use a computer necessarily to find a caregiver. The yellow pages still exist in print format—this is still a great source of information. But the web has certainly simplified the process and can speed up your search for a caregiver for your loved one. You can also get information from particular care giving services much easier this way too. Just sending a few emails can get you a list of what services they provide, some background on the company and its employees, and even the cost of those services. This screening process can be done from the comfort of your own home and you can weed out the service providers that you don’t think will fit with your elderly parent much more easily. After you have sorted out the caregivers, you can then schedule your free live consultations.
Technology is a big hurdle for many elderly people to overcome, simply because they have little experience with it. Remember though, this technology can make their lives easier—even if they don’t use it themselves. Finding acceptable caregivers on the web will make their living arrangements much easier. Remember though, you don’t want to push them toward finding information themselves if they don’t want to. Respect their concerns and trepidations in regards to learning how to use the newest technology, but at the same time, make sure that you are savvy enough in order to help them by using the computer and other tech devices for them. Even if they don’t understand it, this will be a great help and will streamline their care giving in a much simpler fashion.
As unhelpful as some long distance care services are, sometimes you just don’t have a choice. Going with the best caregiver is absolutely essential to the health and happiness of your loved one, so you want to be careful that the service provider that the long distance care agency provides is top notch.
One great place to start your search is through www.eldercare.gov. This resource allows you to search for caregivers in your state or city. It also happens to be able to do a search for salient keywords, as well. This is especially true if your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Getting a caregiver with experience in these areas will do a great deal toward easing your worries about your loved one’s care.
Because www.eldercare.gov is a government sponsored website, you can be assured that you will be treated in a professional and thorough manner when you have questions. In fact, this site has several ways for you to get in touch with them. If you do experience any difficulties or have questions that the site doesn’t answer, you can call the employees of the site or have a live chat over the internet. Either way, you will have your issues addressed quickly and efficiently.
The Elder Care site is first and foremost a locator. They are able to search through their database and find you multiple care giving services in your area. However, this site is extremely limited because of this fact. It points you toward caregivers in general, not necessarily the best caregivers. This makes the Elder Care locator a limited tool, but if you are a long way away from your elderly family member, this can prove to be a very good place to start your search. If you have a family member living in New York and you are located in California, doing a search through your elderly loved one’s zip code will give you a multitude of choices, but it is up to you to go through these choices and find the one that best matches your loved one’s needs.
This sounds difficult, but it really isn’t. You will have some hands on work when it comes to interviewing different care giving services to find your family member’s best match, but this hassle is a small price to pay. You truly want what’s best for your family—this is an important way to start your search. Just make sure that you don’t simply use the locator instead of good old common sense. The locator is only a tool, not the end means of locating the absolute best service provider for you and your loved one. Get phone numbers if you live far away and then contact each provider independently.