Nearly 50 million Americans provide care for another adult on a regular basis, according to the American Psychological Association. If this is what you’ll be doing as a family caregiver for an elderly loved one, it can be helpful to have a better understanding of what things will likely be on your regular to-do list. Here are six of the more common family caregiver tasks.
1. Stay on Top of Medical Needs
A good place to start as a family caregiver is to meet with your loved one’s doctor to get a better understanding of your loved one’s current health-related needs. Medical-related tasks you may need to do for your loved one include:
• Making sure he or she takes medications as directed
• Encouraging him or her to do recommended physical therapy exercises
• Providing assistance with the management of chronic conditions
2. Lend a Hand with Daily Care Tasks
The extent to which you’ll need to lend a hand with bathing, grooming, toileting, and other daily care tasks will depend on your loved one’s physical and mental health. Even if your loved one is initially fairly independent, pay attention to signs he or she may need some additional assistance since some seniors are reluctant to come right out and ask for help.
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Des Moines home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
3. Offer Diet and Exercise Encouragement
Seniors are often affected by many age-related changes, including ones involving how food tastes and bone density. Changes like this may be offset by appropriate adjustments to how your loved one eats and exercises, which typically means encouraging your loved one to eat well-balanced meals and get some form of exercise on a regular basis.
4. Be Observant
Whenever possible, it’s best to address possible issues with your loved one’s health or ability to function on a daily basis as soon as possible. Just realize that your loved one may not always realize anything is wrong, or he or she may be reluctant to tell you because of pride or embarrassment. Generally, things you’ll want to look out for as a caregiver include:
• Memory-related issues
• Changes with mobility
• Difficulty preparing meals or handling other everyday tasks
• Changes with mood or behavior
5. Help with Transfer and Transport
Your loved one may have difficulty going from a bed to chair or vice-versa. As a family caregiver, you’ll need to help with transfers like this if this type of assistance is needed. Your parent may also need some help getting to doctors’ appointments and running errands, especially if he or she is no longer able to drive safely.
Professional caregivers can assist with transfers and transportation to medical appointments. Families shouldn’t have to worry about finding reliable in-home care. Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of elderly home care. We offer a proprietary program called the Balanced Care Method, which uses holistic methods to promote senior health, our caregivers and Care Managers are available 24/7, and all of our in-home care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
6. Offer Companionship
One of the more rewarding and mutually beneficial things you’ll need to do as a family caregiver is keep your loved one company, which can involve working on arts and crafts projects together, sharing family stories, reading out loud to each other, cooking a favorite meal, or simply taking a walk around the neighborhood.
Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Des Moines, Iowa, families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (515) 264-2438 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.