Taking on the role of family caregiver requires you to do a variety of tasks, some more invisible than others. These responsibilities are often skipped over, which could negatively affect your loved one’s health and safety. Below you’ll find some of the lesser-known but essential duties family caregivers must often take on when caring for an aging loved one.
Many caregivers assume their roles with little or no experience. Although they can care for their senior parents without going to college, caregivers need to learn about how to perform their duties and ways to handle their loved ones’ health conditions. The more you learn from reading or speaking with medical providers, the better position you’ll be in to enhance your loved one’s physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
2. Organizing Paperwork
Most people know family caregivers take their loved ones or schedule transportation to doctors’ appointments, but handling the paperwork often goes unmentioned. Make sure every document in your loved one’s file is up to date and scanned, mailed, or hand-delivered to the primary physician. If your parent’s doctor recommends a specialist, you may also be responsible for ensuring necessary documents and signed forms make it to the specialist.
3. Shopping for Clothing
It may not seem important, but the clothing and accessories your parent wears could boost his or her independence and mental and emotional health. For example, if your loved one is living with Parkinson’s disease, it may be challenging to button shirts or tie shoes. In these instances, it would be best to shop for clothing with no zippers or buttons and shoes with Velcro closures.
Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading home care service agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
4. Planning Social Activities
In a perfect world, every senior would engage in social activities with friends, caregivers, and associates. However, many prefer to stay inside and take up projects they can handle alone. Family caregivers often plan these activities, sometimes months in advance. Social planning includes more than encouraging your loved one to visit with friends or take an art class. The preparation also relates to creating a budget, arranging transportation, and finding social outings and activities that meet his or her preferences.
If your loved one needs companionship and help with transportation to social activities, a home caregiver can be a wonderful resource. Lincoln homecare experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
5. Monitoring Correspondence
Checking your loved one’s mail and other correspondence could prevent identity theft. Many thieves and scammers target older adults. Monitoring your loved one’s mail could reduce the risk of elder abuse and theft.
6. Preparing for Unknown Disasters & Pandemics
Bad weather can turn into disasters, and unknown viruses could lead to pandemics that impact the elderly more than other age groups. As a family caregiver, you should have a plan to handle these types of potential issues, even if the problems never come to fruition. When developing an adequate care plan, it’s best to include unforeseen disasters, even if your loved one is in excellent health or lives in a town that typically has no significant weather crises.
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Lincoln 24-hour care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (916) 226-3737.