While some families have the opportunity to discuss and plan for home care services, others are often thrust into caregiving roles without any preparation whatsoever. Sudden illnesses and injuries are a harsh reality of life, and even the most organized people in the world cannot predict the future.
As a result, many people, who are already treading in deep water to keep from drowning in responsibilities from work and home, are overwhelmed by unanticipated twists of fate that somehow designated them as primary caregivers of aging parents or relatives.
What do when you are suddenly in charge of in-home caregiving?
There are several organizations and agencies available for consulting and guiding families through the often difficult process of caregiving for a senior loved one.
Groups such as the American Red Cross and the National Caregivers Association offer advice and direction to those who need it. A good first step is to reach out to knowledgeable and experienced professionals who can provide useful information, and help you to feel less alone.
A second step is to reach out to a reputable home care agency that can provide a wealth of information about in-home care and even live-in care options. A well respected, carefully monitored agency, such as Comfort Keepers of Springfield, employs only high-quality caregivers with the right mix of personal and professional characteristics so that you don’t have to worry about making the right choice or finding reliable support.
Changes in the Home
When it is determined that you will provide in-home caregiving to your loved one in your home, there will likely be necessary changes to ensure everyone’s safety, security and comfort. The more modifications that you make to your home, the more peace of mind you will feel when you have to leave the space for a while.
Fall Risk Prevention
A significant concern with seniors is the increased risk of falls and the subsequent pain and limitations that follow such an injury. In making your home safe for your loved one, it is wise to think about the following factors:
- Lighting – Above flights of stairs, along driveways and in walk-in spaces, it is important to provide easily accessible lighting, to help them to see potential dangers.
- Switches and knobs – Seniors often experience limitations in mobility which can interfere with the ability to reach overhead, or deep into spaces. By relocating all possible buttons and switches to easily accessible locations, seniors will not necessarily be as tempted to reach and stretch in positions that might compromise their balance.
- Counter heights – Ensuring that there are variable counter heights prevents uncomfortable reaching and twisting that could result in falls or injury.
- Bathroom equipment – Assistive modifications are more important in the bathroom than nearly any other location in the house. Safety features like raised toilet seats and grab bars in showers can go a long way to protect your loved.
- Monitors and alert buttons – Through the use of monitoring systems and medical alert buttons, you can feel more confident walking away, even if only into the next room.
Setting and Keeping Appointments
Such services as occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy and music therapy are all part of caregiving to your loved one, and are essential to their well-being.
If your life is already entirely scheduled, and you don’t know how you are going to manage one more person’s appointments, it might be helpful to consult a home care agency to talk about the options that are available.
Caring for loved ones can be a privilege, but a very physically and emotionally demanding one at that. Taking time to recharge your batteries will benefit the person in your care. How can you take a break for just that short-term moment? Respite care. Please contact us at Comfort Keepers, or call us at (610) 543-6300 to find out how we can provide relief and support for all you do.