Often family caregivers who are new to caregiving just aren’t sure what this new stage of their relationship with their aging adult means. It can mean different things depending on your senior’s overall health, of course, but these general categories can start you in the right direction.
Safety Is the Biggest Concern.
Your senior’s physical safety may be the single biggest issue that alerts you to the fact that you need to take on the role of family caregiver. Ensuring that her home is as free of tripping hazards as possible helps an awful lot. If her home has some maintenance issues or repairs that need done, now is the time to make that happen. Bathroom safety is especially important, so be sure to determine if grab bars can be installed throughout the room.
Security Is Closely Related to Overall Safety.
In addition to your senior’s physical safety, you want to make sure that her home itself is secure. Do the locks function properly on exterior doors and windows? If not, it might be time to replace them. You also want to make sure that fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors are functional. If it’s in the budget, a full home alarm system can offer features that make both you and your aging adult feel more secure.
Ensure She’s Living a Healthy Lifestyle.
As your elderly family member ages, it’s important for her to be embracing a lifestyle that is as healthy as possible. This might mean that she needs to change her diet slightly or start an exercise program that is recommended by her doctor. Start building a relationship with her doctor so that you have the tools that you need in order to help her work toward living healthier every day.
Maintaining Contact, Especially if You’re Far Away.
In the beginning stages of caregiving, you’re likely to be farther away from your senior family member. You most likely live in a different home, but you could also be living in a different state entirely. This makes maintaining contact with your elderly family member more important every day. You need to have a solid grasp of how she’s doing and what she needs on a daily basis.
As you learn the ropes of caregiving, it can be helpful to have senior care providers as a part of your care team. They can help you to shorten the learning curve you’re experiencing and determine what your elderly family member really needs from you and from her medical providers.
If you or someone you know needs senior care in St. Cloud, MN, contact Prairie River Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.
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