Caring for an aging parent can be challenging, which means that even the most devoted child needs some time away. Arranging for home care to alleviate your responsibilities can give you back much of your previous life so you have time for your family, interests, or job. The following tips can make it easier for both you and the home care provider to give your parent the best care possible.
Tip #1: Create a daily log
A simple notebook kept in an obvious place can go a long way toward smoothing out any issues when there are multiple caregivers. Each caregiver must fill out the log with any important information from the shift. This can include the following:
The time the parent awoke, fell asleep, or took a nap.
Meal times and food consumed, if there are dietary issues.
Times for each medication dosage.
Medical visits, such as outside doctor appointments or in-home therapy sessions.
Anything else that could matter, such as mood swings or concerns.
Tip #2: Make a dedicated care cabinet
If your parent takes several different medications or has specific items they need for daily therapies, make sure they are all centrally located in a single place. For some people, a large tool box or tackle box works well. You can organize medications in the top drawers, while using the bottom section for extra necessary items such as exercise straps for physical therapy sessions. Another option is to dedicate a single cabinet in the kitchen or bathroom to the medical supplies a caregiver needs access to. Make sure everything is inventoried daily and signed off by the caregiver to ensure it is refilled as necessary. By keeping everything together, a caregiver will never need to search the home for the needed item.
Tip #3: Schedule some overlap
It can be hard on your parent and on the caregiver if the last person is walking out just as the new person is walking in to start their shift. One way to ease the transition is to schedule their time so it overlaps by 15 or 20 minutes. This way the person coming off duty can go over the log and any concerns for the day, while the person coming on duty can check that everything they need for their time is available and they can ask any necessary questions.
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