Research from the Family Caregiver Alliance shows that by 2050, there will be nearly 37 million “unpaid family caregivers” – an 85% increase from the year 2000. Whether it’s a parent, grandparent or close friend, the thought of caring for a senior citizen can seem daunting. Between medications, doctor visits and the day-to-day tasks that require assistance, there is a lot to consider when it comes to being a caregiver. However, if you’re properly prepared and know what to expect, you will be much better equipped when the time comes.
Prepare Their Living Space
Whether your loved one is living at home, with you or at an assisted living home, it’s important they feel comfortable in their living space. Try to arrange their furniture in the same way they had it to avoid confusion or frustration. Keep areas clutter-free. Consider installing devices such as an anti-scald device for showers and faucets that prevent serious burns. Technology may also be beneficial as you can install motion sensors that will keep tabs on your loved one without cameras or microphones, so privacy is still in place. Ensure their daily items are within easy reach to avoid falls or injury.
If your elderly loved one lives at home or at an assisted living center, it’s important you visit regularly. Not only will this allow you to check in on their current living conditions, it will let you watch for changes in their demeanor and health. Senior citizens also benefit greatly from regular socialization and cherish the time they can spend with family.
Keep In Touch
It’s important to be in communication with your loved one’s doctors and pharmacists so you’re aware of any medication that may be prescribed. Ask about any possible side effects and medical or food interactions so you can be on the lookout.
Spend some time talking about the finances of your loved one. Try to get a credit report check yearly to protect their identity and discuss the possibility of downsizing into a senior-friendly condo if they wish to remain living independently.
If you have the responsibility of caring for a senior citizen, consider asking for help when you feel overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to lean on others when needed and check back in on the Denton Regional Urgent Care blog or come in to see us for more tips on caring for a senior citizen.
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.