Caring for an elderly parent or relative? For tips on how to manage this tricky dynamic, DFAC turned to Jackie Percs-O’Donnell of Golden Home Care for her experience and expertise. The two most important areas to address for a senior living at home, says Percs-O’Donnell, are falls prevention and medication management. Falls and medication mismanagement, leading causes for senior hospitalization, can be averted with foresight and organization.
Family members involved in day-to-day care are a great asset, but as you surely know, this task can become overwhelming. Says Percs-O’Donnell, “Relying exclusively on the ‘natural’ family to take care of all the person’s needs can lead to burnout.” More often than not, you are pulled in multiple directions; your parent needs you, your children need you, your boss needs you. What comes first? Seeking additional assistance from a qualified home care provider could enable you to spend more quality time with your elderly parent, while a professional attends to more physical needs: personal hygiene, safety suggestions, recognizing potential complications, and where applicable, dementia care.
What should you look for in a home care provider? A quality home care provider should be someone trustworthy. Your provider should be someone with whom you feel comfortable. He or she should take the time to get to know you and your family member, history, likes and dislikes so that together, you can develop a care plan that will provide your family member with the necessary care. Ongoing communication between family, client and caregivers are essential in providing continuing quality care. As health conditions can change rapidly, ongoing assessments are a must.
Not everyone ages gracefully. It can be a process that is painful to watch. Embrace aging with a positive attitude. Preserve dignity. Focus on the can do’s instead of the can’t do’s. Allow your family member autonomy, wherever possible. Do things together. Reminisce about old times, good memories. We all have a life to live. Let your aging parent or family member enjoy the rest of theirs.