As people get older and age, they will change in a number of ways. They will often require more medical care, suffer from a greater variety of conditions and struggle to perform even the most mundane tasks. As a result, many seniors will require the assistance of a caregiver in some capacity. If not, they will struggle to live a fulfilled life and simply might not be able to care for themselves.
Instead of waiting until your parents, grandparents or friends already require care to prepare for it, you should do so in advance. But what sorts of things can you do to prepare for these individuals getting older and what goes into caring for them?
With that in mind, this article is going to look at a few ways you can prepare for senior caregiving, whether it is your parents, grandparents or family friends.
Do Your Research
The first step is to do your own research. You need to learn what other caregivers have done, what the different healthcare options are, what they cost, things to watch out for and so much more. This can be a lot at times, but is well worth it to ensure you are well-prepared.
For example, you should know what a Medicare Supplement Plan is, and the various other types of healthcare options for seniors. On this link you can find a lot of helpful information about Medicare Supplement Plan, explained by experts from HealthMarkets.
Get to Know Their Financial Situation
While this can be awkward or difficult at times, you need to find out the financial situation of the senior that is preparing to need care. Find out how much they have, what it costs to live like they currently do and be aware of what kinds of costs their insurance will cover.
Retiring and/or requiring care for the rest of your life can be expensive in some cases. If they are not in a good place financially, find ways to cut down their spending and see if there are any programs that can help, or potentially rethink the insurance that they are using.
Keep an Open Dialogue
This whole transition into caregiving can be difficult for everyone involved. As a result, be sure to keep an open dialogue with the senior individual. You need to be there to answer questions they have, reassure them and have the difficult conversations. Never make any assumptions about what they want or what they will think about certain things.
You also need to be sure you continue to respect the senior and their individuality. While they might need care, they are still a person and have their own wishes and thoughts. If you are continuously telling them that they have to do a certain thing, it can hurt their autonomy. Instead, make suggestions or ask instead of simply ordering.
Be Aware of Their Living Arrangement
When it comes to senior caregiving, there are several different options for living that seniors have. There are senior living communities with many seniors living independently, but near each other in the same apartment or complex. There are also nursing homes, assisted living facilities or even the ability to live at their own home with a home health aide. Many seniors will also live with and be cared for by their family.
Be sure to not only ask them what they prefer, but think about what will be best for their happiness, budget and lifestyle. Some people flourish with someone only helping them with difficult tasks, while others prefer to be in a setting where essentially everything is done for them.
Consider Asking for Assistance or Help if You Need
Dealing with all of this preparation and handling everything on your own can be a very daunting feeling. Thankfully, you aren’t alone. There are plenty of different ways for you to get help or assistance during these difficult situations. Social workers, lawyers, experienced caregivers and even financial advisors can help you out and answer any questions or concerns that you might have.
They can not only help you through the legal and financial challenges, but also help deal with the emotions that will often come about during these kinds of situations or scenarios. Reaching out to other family members, friends or even communities on the internet is also a good idea.
Don’t Forget to Also Care For Yourself
While caring for your senior loved one is important, don’t forget to care for yourself. If you consistently do things for them, and forget about yourself, it is incredible to get burnt out. If you neglect your needs for others, it will exhaust you and could lead you to snap or lash out, which is never a good thing.
Take time to manage your stress, take breaks and make sure that you still do the things that you want to do. This will help you be a more effective caregiver and make sure you have the patience to deal with it all.
In conclusion, we hope that this blog post has been helpful in preparing you for senior caregiving.