In our last blog post, we discussed the warning signs that an aging loved one may need additional support and care. In this post, we’ll discuss the ways you can take action to ensure that your loved one can age gracefully, happily, healthily and in-place.
Step 1: Talk to your loved ones.
Share your concerns with them, and encourage them to take action on their own behalf. Engage close friends, loved ones and members of their community to also share their concern and in the call for changes.
If your loved ones are not open to discuss concerns with independence, you should consider discussing those concerns with a social worker or geriatric care manager, and their doctor. Often, the perspective offered by family can give doctors and care managers understanding into the issues facing the loved one, and how to best treat future concerns. Often, there are life adjustments that can be made that do not cost loved ones any independence. It should be noted that interactions with others’ doctors can require legal consent.
Step 2: Insist on safety.
As concerns go, there are few more important than safety. If your loved one isn’t taking medication properly, is exhibiting signs of dementia, or is physically overcome by the challenges of independence (stairs, driving, cooking), insist that changes be put into place in support of their independence. Integrate the assistive devices that will help them stay on their feet, safe on stairs, and upright in the bathroom. Put systems into place to monitor and manage medication dispensing. Evaluate whether driving remains viable.
If any area of life remains unsafe, problem solve how additional safeguards can and will be put in place.
Step 3: Consider home care services.
When loved ones continue to struggle, consider the value of home care and the trade off in cost versus piece of mind for safety. There are countless services that can be taken on by a home care provider that can actually save your loved ones additional health care costs. At CaraVita Home Care, we work to design custom care plans that maximize the individual’s ability to retain the independence they desire while balancing the cost.
Simple duties like lawn care, house cleaning, Meals on Wheels and errands can be outsourced, and home care aides can assist with everything from bathing and dressing to round-the-clock care. At CaraVita, we offer a team of professionals with a diverse background – from nursing professionals and social workers to geriatric care managers and physical therapists – to develop and manage custom-tailored plans for every aspect of your loved ones independence.
The fact is, aging loved ones often won’t admit or don’t realize they need help. It can feel like an admission of defeat, or perhaps an admission of mortality to allow others to take over parts of life that were once independent. By identifying the warning signs of diminishing independence, and applying proactive solutions to the challenges presented, we allow our loved ones a happier, healthier, longer life than if they are left to struggle alone.
If you needed help with yard care, would you not hire a person to cut your grass? Or if you need help to clean your home would you not hire a cleaning service? It’s not that you can’t do the service; it is that the service can be done more efficiently and safely. So why, if you can save yourself some time and prevent injury, would you not hire help to keep you on track with your medications or helping your loved one with a bath? By choosing in-home care assistance, you are actually maintaining your independence and allowing time for healthy living versus recovery from missed medication or a fall in the shower.
Call or visit today if you think your loved ones could use compassionate assistance maintaining their independence.