When an aging loved one requires a caregiver, one family member may choose to take on this responsibility. Yet caring for someone who has been diagnosed with a serious illness or is recovering from an injury can be overwhelming.
Oftentimes, older adults have complicated health issues that can add more stress to the situation. For instance, dementia can present a variety of challenging symptoms that may require professional intervention to help manage.
Based on your loved one’s condition, it’s important to understand what decisions should be made for their health and safety. Here are a few factors to consider before taking on the role of caretaker.
1. Determine Their Needs
Before becoming a caretaker, it’s important to establish the level of care your loved one needs. Are there specific medication requirements, like daily medications, physical therapy or regular doctor visits?
If they are suffering from a disease like diabetes, managing their diet, checking insulin levels and administering the correct medications may be necessary.
You should also consider mobility and independence. Determine if your loved one is able to perform daily tasks on their own, like cooking and personal hygiene, or if assistance will be needed. Modifications to the home for additional safety may include nonskid treads on steps or grab-bars in the bathroom. It’s crucial to outline everything your loved one will need to stay safe and healthy before taking on the responsibility of their care.
2. Consider Your Needs
What are your needs? If you have a full-time job or a family to look after, finding the time to also care for your loved one may be more difficult. If you are not the best person for the job, that’s all right but it’s important to determine that before taking on the commitment.
Do you live close enough to be available whenever needed? If not, you may be faced with a decision to relocate yourself or your loved one. Take a step back and consider if you can provide the necessary attention they need. If not, consider an alternative care option.
3. Financial Impact
Many people underestimate the associated costs of caring for you loved one, which is why awareness of your financial situation is important. Medication, doctor visits and home safety measures should be considered.
Depending on the amount of care needed, you may want to consider skilled nursing in a professional facility. It may be a better financial decision than in-home care, especially if your loved one has long-term care insurance. This coverage helps provide assisted care to adults over 65, living with a chronic or disabling condition and needs consistent aid.
4. Assisted Living
If you decide that you are unable to care for your loved one, long-term care in a skilled nursing facility may be the best option for the care they need. At Avon Health Center, we believe your loved one should live the highest quality life possible. We provide our patients with medical care, tasty meals, a clean living environment, recreational activities and more!
If you or a loved one are considering long-term care, contact Avon Health Center today!
« How Seniors Can Cope with Chronic Illness
How to Plan for Retirement »