As we age, our physical abilities may change and certain tasks become more difficult. Some of these changes we can manage alone, but others may require some help from family and friends. As a caregiver, you want to give your loved one the best care possible. This means making preparations by considering an aging loved one care plan. It is important to consider both short and long-term care solutions in your loved one’s home so they do not have to move again in the near future.
Senior caregiving can be a very challenging and emotional experience for you and your family. While it won’t likely feel like it at the moment, you are making an important investment in your senior parents’ well-being. There are many services that can help you evaluate your current situation, including information on long and short-term financial planning, living arrangements, caregiver burnout prevention, home safety, and more. It’s important to make a conscious effort to develop an aging loved one care plan, with specific details about end of life and posthumous planning.
What Are Your Long-Term Care Options?
If you or a loved one needs long-term care as a result of an illness, injury, or disability, you have several different options to choose from. For example, home- and community-based services can include homemaker services, adult care services, services in a supportive living residence, or family caregiver support. Paying for long-term care can be expensive, so creating an aging loved one care plan ahead of time is essential.
Long-term care services are options that allow seniors to stay out of hospitals or nursing homes, if possible, and maintain their independence. Plus, care in your own home is much more flexible than that in other long-term care facilities. Options for long-term care include Adult daycare Housekeeping, Home health aides, Meals on Wheels Companionship with a family member or friend. In-home health care from a licensed professional home health aides aide is the most common type of long-term care. They focus on the things your loved one might not be able to do on their own: bathing, dressing, preparing meals, housekeeping, and transportation to doctors’ appointments. You can also incorporate the services of an arborist or waste management services for local waste removal to ensure your loved one’s environment is appealing. Incorporating natural stone slabs is also an innovative way to keep your loved ones’ homes looking appealing.
This valuable resource speaks candidly about deciding on an aging loved one care plan for nursing home care, assisted living, and in-home assistance, whether you choose to pay privately or use Medicare coverage. Here are the factors to consider when choosing long-term care options for your loved one.
Quality of Life
Aging seniors often face losses in the quality of their lives well before they face the end of their days. It’s not enough just to see into their medical needs. In fact, if your quality of life is negatively affected by chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and dementia or acute situations, like intensive-care stay following surgery, the care you receive may be less effective. Of course, a positive view of life can help alleviate some of the medical issues that seniors face every day, such as cognitive decline, stress, lack of energy, and appetite. We must also see to their mental and emotional needs in order to help them have a positive view of life.
In addition to the physical aging process, as people grow older, their views on life change. A positive view of life can help lessen or delay symptoms associated with aging such as stress and disease. The quality of life improves when a body is relaxed and comfortable. In some cases, simple items such as natural looking dentures can improve a person’s comfort level; in other cases, it may take surgery. Varicose veins are another common problem that affects seniors. Treating these conditions will not only help the quality of life but also improve overall health and confidence.
Here are a few ways you can improve the quality of life of your loved ones.
Create a sense of purpose for the elderly
When we are respectful and caring, seniors have a much stronger sense of purpose. Respect for older adults should not be limited to those who have no children or other family to care for them, but extended to all older adults. They may have previously had a sense of purpose in jobs and raising families, but oftentimes it is up to us as their primary caregiver or community members to help them see their value and encourage them to participate when they are able.
Recognize and treat depression
Depression can happen to anyone; the elderly are especially susceptible. If a loved one seems depressed, you should encourage them to seek treatment. Depression is treatable, and there are many types of treatments available.
Depression is a disorder in which an individual has a significant loss of interest or ability to partake in activities that were once enjoyed. Physical energy, range of emotion, and appetite can all be affected as well. Depression can strike people of all ages, and it is particularly common among seniors. If someone seems depressed, it is important to encourage them to seek treatment from a mental health professional. Whether the depression is caused by a loss in the family, personal lifestyle changes, or other reasons entirely, there are treatments available that can restore peace in the life of a loved one.
It’s important to be aware of depression in the elderly. Depression is not a normal part of aging but can cause a real threat to a senior’s mental and physical health. Although depression in the elderly may not be recognized quickly, there are ways to improve the situation and make it better for everyone involved.
Encourage physical activity
Staying active as you get older is important for your health. It keeps your muscles strong, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and boosts your mood. You may have heard that regular physical activity can help the circulation of blood throughout the body and improve heart health.
Encourage human connections
Many seniors come to view loneliness as an inevitable part of aging. Poor health, loss of mobility, or dwindling social networks can all contribute to feeling lonely and isolated. However, this does not have to be the case. There are ways that you can help keep your older adult friend or family member connected with the world in ways that improve mental health and quality of life.
In-Home or Residential Care
Whether they are a little unsteady on their feet or experiencing memory loss, there are a variety of reasons an elderly family member may require care in her home. While residential facilities have their benefits and can provide 24-hour health care, they can also be expensive. In-home care gives your loved one the comfort and companionship of staying at home while providing the monitoring and treatment she needs to stay healthy without breaking the bank.
The benefits of in-home care range from convenience to cost savings. By performing hands-on care in a senior’s home, you’ll have the added benefit of knowing the environment and being aware of changes that may occur as a result of your loved one’s care and lifestyle. It is very important to consider the pros and cons of the care options for your family member, as you decide on the details of an aging loved one care plan.
In-home care providers offer appealing and affordable options for senior living applications. They have the knowledge and expertise to handle the elderly’s frail needs at a more reasonable rate compared to traditional nursing homes.
For seniors that wish to remain in their home as long as possible and with less assistance, an in-home care provider can be a great solution. In-home care providers help seniors with ADLs, such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation, but can do so much more depending on your senior’s needs. By choosing an in-home care agency, your elderly loved one can live a more enjoyable life without the stress of moving from their home.
Pros of in-home care for the elderly
Long term stability
One of the biggest benefits of in-home care for the elderly is that it provides long-term stability and consistency. When an elderly person has a regular caregiver, they’ll experience fewer disruptions in their daily routine, which can help with sleep and mental acuity. Also, having a home companion caregiver around on a regular basis is great for safety reasons, and an in-home caretaker can assist with tasks like medication management.
In-home care allows seniors and their caregivers to remain together in a familiar setting while getting the support they need to stay healthy and independent.
At the heart of companion care services is this simple fact: healing outside of a hospital or nursing home is much less costly and more comfortable. It also works better. Patients with serious illnesses who are treated at home live longer than those who don’t.
Cons of in-home care for the elderly
Companion home caregivers for the elderly sometimes come with their own set of problems. Older people will be more comfortable in their own home, so when an outside influence enters it can be stressful for them. A way to combat this is to remind patients that these people are there only to help them maintain their independence and stay in their homes as long as possible. If they have security concerns while at home, you can seek a board up service to increase their safety at home.
Limited medical tools
When patients are in a home-bound environment, there are more variables to consider. This can be a positive as well as a negative variable. For example, if your patient lives on the first floor of their home and does not have handrails for assistance with walking, therapy would be difficult to do at their home. This can create new challenges for the therapist to overcome in order to structure each session appropriately.
End of Life Planning
When your family member is closing in on the end of life, it will be vital to start thinking about an aging loved one care plan. Be a fan of your aging parents, by ‘cleaning house’ with their support. Start watching out for them earlier; ideally before a health crisis arises. Take charge of your aging parents’ assets and affairs. While this may not be welcome news to them now as they feel challenged physically and/or mentally, once they realize that you are fighting for them and gaining back control over their assets, you will be their greatest supporter. Here are a few tips you can use during this time.
Seek the power of an attorney
Living with a terminal illness can be one of the most stressful times financially you and your loved ones will ever go through. Knowing where to seek help and how to access available financial resources is crucial, as well as how to settle any large debts. Some debts can be settled by selling items of value, such as precious jewels at jewelry pawn shops. If your parents are bankrupt, it would be best to seek the services of a bankruptcy attorney. It’s important to take an inventory of any assets available and keep track of these with an aging loved one care plan.
Address your loved ones medical issues
With aging, there are more risks of health problems, some of which are unavoidable. A healthy body and a sound mind can lead to a longer life, but it’s important to stay on top of your physical health. At some point, many seniors will need to adjust their living situation because they can no longer live alone. By keeping your hip bones strong, you’re maintaining your balance and promoting mobility for better physical health in old age. You’ll want to pay attention to the health and wellbeing of your loved one, but also work closely with them to develop an aging loved one care plan that will work best for them.
Have medical and final expense insurance
Have peace of mind knowing that you will provide the assistance and care your aging loved ones need by protecting them from paying for your medical or final expenses.
Guard personal valuables
Your family’s most precious heirlooms and precious items should be kept in a safe to protect them from damage from the elements and everything else that the elements can throw at them. If you have any security concerns, you can seek a board up service to increase your safety at home. Whether your loved one lives at home or in a care facility, if they own property this will need to be something you will need to consider as you create an aging loved one care plan.
Preside over your loved ones legal documents
Preside over your parents’ legal documents in old age such as motor vehicle documents, birth certificates, identification documents, travel documents, and all other essential personal information. Ensures that your parents’ legal interests are protected.
Parents special wishes
Caring for your aging parents can be stressful. Your parents may express desires to visit special places, to see long-time friends or family members. Remembering these special requests and fulfilling them soothes the soul. Consider all their stated wishes in advance through a recording system, and then follow through by arranging transportation, providing children or friends as escorts, locating accommodations or care facilities, or any other help needed to fulfill the request. In the end, you should prioritize an aging loved one care plan so that you and all your family members are prepared for the various concerns of aging with dignity.