Family Caregiver – What does it take?
Becoming a family caregiver requires massive organization and patience. Family caregiving is one of the growing senior issues. Caregiving can happen at a moments notice. Every situation is going to be different and may need different things. Here are the fundamentals of caring for your loved ones.
1. Create a Family Caregiver Plan of Action
It will be best to get a notebook or weekly calendar. Write down a rough draft of everything you must do as a family caregiver. Start with your loved ones like and dislikes. Ask about their problems or concern. Be observant of the physical aspects and the mentality of your loved ones. Ask what specific duties they would like you to do. Write down all the medications and doctors they use. Finally, write a detailed plan of action for each day.
2. Evaluate the Medical Needs
Once you have a list of doctors and medications. Notify them to let them know you are the family caregiver. Meet with each one to determine a diagnosis, treatment and medication necessity. See if a diagnosis has gotten better or worse. Is there a change in the treatment? Do any medications need to change? The doctor will appreciate a well thought out plan.
3. Organize the Home
Observe your loved one’s daily routine for a couple of days to figure out what they use daily. Ask questions to determine if they would like to throw away anything. Ask if you are able to organize each room of the home to clean and maintain it. Always start with the cleanest to the dirtiest. Keeping everything clean and organized will keep everyone happy and stress-free. Have a weekly cleaning schedule.
4. Help Out with Daily Living
As a family caregiver ask questions to determine what your loved one can do for themselves. Ask about grooming, bathing, dressing, toileting and transferring.
Grooming will consist of
Brushing, flossing, washing, shaving, manicuring fingernails and toenails.
Bathing will consist of.Help to get in the shower or bath, and possible bathing your loved one. Discuss the number of times per week that the bath should occur.
Dressing.Always let your loved one do as much as they can. Then assist with anything that they are having problems with.
Toileting.Safety first, make sure there are grab bars and any devices that may make things easier. Discuss in full detail with your loved ones on the assistance they will require. It is very important as a family caregiver to keep your loved ones clean and dry.
Transferring.It is important as a family caregiver to determine. How your loved one can transfer from one thing to another. Some loved ones may only need minimal help and others may need full help. There is a variety of aids and devices for the bed-side and chair-side assistance.
5. Meal Preparation
We all get set in our way of how we prepare our food and what we eat. Our taste and habits change as we age. Create a weekly nutritious menu, in order that everyone knows what they are having. Purchase groceries on a weekly basis to have all supplies ready for cooking. Consider dietary requirements and doctor’s orders.
As a family caregiver, it is your responsibility to ensure proper sanitation. This will include regular daily garbage removal. Maintaining the sanitary bathroom area. And cleaning out old or tainted food in the fridge and cupboards.
7. Transportation and Errands
It is your responsibility to transport your loved ones. this will be to all appointment, stores, and entertainment. You may need special equipment such as walkers or wheelchairs.
8. Ambulation assistance or Exercise
Whether your loved one is able to walk or in a wheelchair, it is important to exercise regularly. There are many exercises available for most wheelchair and bed-ridden seniors. Always consult with a doctor for particular guidelines on exercise.
9. Keeping your loved one’s company
Make sure as a family caregiver, to take time for your loved ones. Have meals with them, watch a favorite program, read to them or just let them know you are there for them.
10. Emergency Services
Make sure you have an emergency contact list on the refrigerator. List the family contacts, any serious health problems, primary care physician. Also include a list of specialty doctors, hospitals, pharmacy. You may even want a DNR form (Do Not Resuscitate) as well. Know how to give CPR before or after calling 911.
Caregiving can be quite overwhelming. But with the following tips and knowledgeable advice, you will be fine. If you’re new to the caregiving role, follow these steps to acquaint yourself. Remember, it’s normal to become overwhelmed and confused. Take it one day at a time for best results and take it easy on yourself. Take good care of yourself in order to take care of your loved ones. For more information check out this site.
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