Caring For An Elderly Relative At Home: Getting Started

Assisted living is normally the initial step in a senior’s lasting care plan. Although care home facilities are available, in-home care is an excellent way to save money and keep your loved one comfortable. However, living with an elderly relative can be taxing on the care provider and their family members.

Before you take on this task, you should be well prepared in the following ways.

1. Understand The Amount Of Care Needed: Activities Of Daily Living (ADLs)

These are requirements that ensure the older adult’s dignity, emotional and physical wellbeing. Basic ADLs should be met effectively, and they include:

  • Personal hygiene (shaving, styling/brushing hair)
  • Self-feeding
  • Dressing
  • Functional mobility (getting in and out of a chair or bed)
  • Showering or bathing
  • Toilet hygiene

If the individual has impaired mobility or cannot carry out the ADLs independently, you should be prepared to assist them. You can get your elderly relative Cavilon skin protector if they are completely immobile. This skin protector prevents incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD), reducing the need to reapply and improve over traditional paste-based solutions.

2. Be Realistic On What You Can Comfortably And Effectively Provide

After going through the ADLs that your elderly relative can do independently, evaluate if you can assist with the rest without needing extra help. If some tasks are out of your reach or capacity, be honest with yourself and your relative. Be practical about what you can do without sacrificing your relationships, health, and other responsibilities.

Taking too much will burn you out, leaving you unable to care for anyone. It is essential to have help as caring for seniors comes with challenges and rewards.

3. Finances

There are financial implications when you take on the role of caring for an elderly relative at home. When living in a care home facility, they may receive extra financial support from the government to cater for their living expenses. Check if your loved one is eligible for any program as it greatly helps in offsetting medical bills.

The relative may also require assistance in managing their retirement funds and finances, which becomes your responsibility if they are under your care. You may also be qualified to receive tax relief as a caregiver by deducting medical expenses or claiming the relative as a dependent.

You should also ensure that the individual gets help from different independent, state or federal groups providing tax assistance to senior citizens during the tax season.

4. Get Alarms

When many people hear ‘get alarms,’ they assume it’s related to theft. With an elderly parent, there are a few others you should consider getting. An elderly fall alarm is one of the more notable. Falls are increasingly more likely to happen as your parents get older, with many of these ending up in an injury.

It’s not uncommon for elderly people not to be able to reach the phone when this happens. With a fall alarm, you’re instantly notified when they fall, so you can get in contact straight away. If medical attention is needed, you can arrange for that practically instantaneously.

It could also be worth getting some cameras and similar technology to help you keep an eye on them more closely. These can easily be customized for your relative’s particular needs.

5. Take A Break When Needed

Apart from requesting help with caregiving responsibilities, it is also essential to share the work and take a break once in a while. You may be doing a superb job caring for the elderly relative, but you won’t get help unless you ask. Ask a spouse, a sibling, a friend, or a close relative to care for the relative for a weekend or even a day. This will give you a chance to relax, rejuvenate, and come back full of energy. Alternatively, if you do not have a large enough support system around you to help care for your elderly relative, there are many live-in care options available to fit your needs requirements and expectations.

Remember that asking for help from friends and family members varies in each situation. Try and be flexible and creative in how you request them to share the load.

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