A caregiver’s toolkit is a work in progress. Over time, you’ll find you need to add new strategies to your aging loved one’s care plan, or you might even need to remove a few. These tools are the most necessary ones every caregiver should have, and you can expect to keep them for the duration of your caregiver role.
Seniors need to live in safe environments that promote independence. One of your first tasks as a caregiver is to do a home assessment to make sure your loved one is in the ideal living environment. This may require making a few changes, such as adding handrails to stairs, but you’ll benefit from preventing injuries and helping your loved one do some things independently.
Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Anchorage seniors can depend on.
Document Storage System
Caregivers often manage their loved ones’ important documents. You’ll want to have one place where you know you can always find your loved one’s health insurance information, living will, and power of attorney. Many caregivers dedicate separate file boxes for their loved ones’ paperwork. If you store any documents electronically, make sure to label the files clearly and bookmark important web pages.
Every caregiver needs to have a list of people to reach out to for help. Whether you need a friend to lend an ear while you vent or someone to step in so you can go to the doctor, you should know exactly who to call. Recruit people who are willing to help out with needs as they arise. Your support network should include a variety of different people as well. For instance, you could include a neighbor on your list along with a professional caregiver who can step in at any time.
At-home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Care Team Calendar
Having the support of family members and professional caregivers is wonderful, but you should also make sure everyone is on the same page. You can print a care team calendar and put it in a prominent place in the house, or you can set one up online for instant access. The most important thing is to make sure it’s something everyone can use to keep track of appointments and write down notes.
Time for Self-Care
Time off might seem like an extra tool to add later on, but you include it along with the other essential parts of your loved one’s care plan. If you don’t make time for yourself, you could quickly get burned out. In a worst-case scenario, your health could also be negatively impacted. Find a few hours a week you can dedicate to keeping yourself healthy and strong. Then appoint a specific caregiver to take over during those hours so you never have a reason to skip taking time off for self-care.
Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Anchorage elderly home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To learn about our quality-assured services, give us a call at (907) 770-0907 today.