If you have an elderly loved one that is still living at home but needs some additional help on a regular basis, there are a few things you should know and plan for before you jump right into being one of their caregivers. So to help you best prepare yourself for this new change in your lifestyle, here are three things to help you in caring for an elderly loved one at home.
Learn How To Research And Plan For Their Needs
When elderly people need help taking care of themselves, it’s usually because they have some kind of medical issue that they can’t handle on their own. So if you’re going to be taking care of them, it’s up to you to learn about what kind of care they need and then plan for how you can best take care of these needs for them.
One of your best resources will be the doctors that your loved one sees. If you’re able to go to their appointments with them, come with some questions prepared to ask to help you gain the information you need to be a better caregiver. The knowledge you gain can also help you to be an invaluable advocate for your loved one when they can’t really advocate for themselves anymore.
Be Careful About Sacrificing Your Own Health
Caring for another person can be a big job. So if you have other responsibilities or obligations that you also need to be fulfilling, you’ll need to be careful that you’re not sacrificing yourself and your own health to care for your loved one.
To protect yourself against this, make sure you set realistic expectations for yourself about what you’re able to do and what you might need some help with from other friends, family members, or medical professionals. This way, you can have some boundaries put in place to keep you from going overboard or getting burnt out.
Know When Things Become Too Much For You
Once your elderly loved one starts to need help with taking care of themselves, it’s very unlikely that they’ll ever be able to come back from this point. Knowing this, you should have some guidelines in place for knowing when things become too much for you. At this point, you should look into things like assisted living or a nursing home facility.
Some of the signs that things have become too much for you to do anymore could include not being able to move or lift your loved one, if they lost control of their bowel functions, or if they are combative. At these points, you can either seek out more help or give the majority of their care to someone better equipped to handle it.
If you’re going to be caring for an elderly loved one in their home, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you plan and prepare for this new responsibility.