smiling woman with her fatherAs our loved ones get older, their needs will grow and change. There may come a time when they need help to continue living a quality life. If your loved one can safely maintain independence, but needs help with disease management, injury recovery or everyday tasks, at-home caregiving could be the right option. Before taking on this responsibility, what should you know?

Know the Care Needed

How can you provide the necessary care if you do not know what your loved one needs? Together as a family or with a doctor, review what he or she needs help with, then divide responsibilities. For instance, if Mom is unable to drive, someone will need to make trips to the grocery store. If Dad recently experienced a fall, someone should be there to help him stand and get to his walker.

Choose a Leader

When the family decides to take charge of a loved one’s care, someone should be selected to be the primary advocate. To avoid family disagreements, the important decisions are better left in the hands of one person, who will discuss all choices with the family member being cared for. Ideally, this person would also have Power of Attorney, should the senior become unable to make legal decisions.

Get a Professional Opinion

Guidance from a professional will help you make more confident decisions. Speak with a doctor or visit a skilled nursing facility to better understand the options for your loved one. These professionals will be honest about what’s needed to improve quality of life.

Always Communicate Openly

While being the family caregiver is an honorable thing to do, are you meeting all criteria? Your loved one may feel they need more help, but don’t want to put the extra burden on you. Have an open discussion about the available options and be supportive of his or her decisions. Make sure your loved one knows you only want what is best.

Continue to Evaluate

Mark the day that care begins, so you can look back and see what has changed. Evaluate whether your loved one has gotten better or worse. Maybe Mom was unable to walk around on her own following surgery but is now able to function independently. Based on the progression or regression you see in your loved one, you can adjust the care as needed.
West Hartford Health & Rehabilitation Center has a friendly staff and comfortable living arrangements. To discuss care options for your loved one, contact us today!