After much discussion, you and your siblings have finally decided to hire your aging mother a professional in-home caregiver. Now the real work begins as you devise a family strategy to ensure Mom receives the nurturing she deserves. Once you’ve selected a reputable provider, getting the most out of your home care experience as days transition into months – and even years – takes planning and perseverance. As a concerned party or home care services recipient, using these five tips should help ensure that all your objectives are met.
Prioritize Your Loved One’s Caregiving Needs
Based on the provider’s initial care assessment, compile a prioritized list of caregiving needs by ranking them in order of importance. For instance, you may want Mom to eat healthier this year or get out of the house more to socialize with others.
While compiling your home care wish list, don’t forget to also respect your loved one’s wishes if their condition would happen to grow worse. As an aside, you can also use this same approach to help them prepare for long-term objectives like advance care planning, estate planning, financial planning, or funeral planning.
Use a Team Approach
When thrust into the role of primary caregiver, the tendency is to try and do everything yourself. But embarking on this journey alone can be overwhelming and lead to significant physical and emotional consequences resulting in caregiver burnout.
Along with Mom’s professional caregiver, form a caregiving team comprised of trusted family members, community volunteers, and friends. Take an inventory of all the resources at your disposal and assign tasks based on each member’s time and talents.
Then, recruit specialists like doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, dieticians, and pharmacists to fill in any remaining caregiving gaps. Eldercare specialists like elder law attorneys, benefits counselors, financial advisors, and certified public accountants can also be invaluable additions to your care team. A geriatric care manager can offer invaluable insight for organizing, monitoring, and facilitating your loved one’s care as their needs become more complex.
Communicate Openly and Often
Keeping with the last point, communication is always key when partnering with a home care provider. Don’t hesitate to ask your loved one’s caregiver for periodic updates on their condition and changing needs. Once you’ve discussed Mom’s health status, be sure to share what you’ve learned with other family members.
Most reputable home care agencies will provide periodic updates and offer caregiving advice – for instance, ways to modify your loved one’s home to create a safer living environment.
Do Your Own Periodic Assessments
In addition to updates from the provider, don’t be afraid to personally assess how well the home care is going, or not. Be sure to ask Mom for input along with other vested family members. If the current caregiver is failing to adequately meet your senior’s needs – or their personalities don’t click – discuss the situation with a supervisor so that they can find a suitable replacement.
Fill in Any Remaining Caregiving Gaps
If your care plan still has holes, don’t hesitate to fill them with outside resources like a meal delivery service, online pharmacy, ride-sharing service, or adult day care. Your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) can also be an invaluable resource for locating senior services you may otherwise not be familiar with.
Your Family-Trusted Senior Home Care Source in St. Louis
When you or your loved one need assistance, contact Caring Professionals. We are a fully licensed and insured home care provider in St. Louis, Jefferson, St. Charles, and more with highly trained professionals who are experts at delivering the nurturing that your loved one deserves. While serving as an extended family in your senior’s home, our compassionate caregivers can perform home care services like light housekeeping, personal care, dementia care, companionship care, medication reminders, and even live-in and 24-hour care.
Our agency’s focus is maintaining your loved one’s quality of life, along with their dignity, self-esteem, and independence. For your added convenience, all our in-home services can be individually personalized into an affordable package when and where you need them! Please visit Caring Professionals online now to learn more about us or schedule a FREE initial consultation for a senior in St. Louis.