There are many factors to consider when caring for a loved one, and of course, having them close to home makes the situation easier. But what do you do when your loved one lives 50, or 500 miles away, or even across the country? Although it seems like it is unmanageable, there are ways to not only keep peace-of-mind, but also to ensure safety, stay on top of their health, and be aware of any crucial health changes.
Keep on Top of Health Changes
Keeping on top of their health situation and identifying problems before they become major issues is of key importance. Also, in regards to patients with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or any other memory issues, it is important to detect changes in behavior as soon as they happen. Of course,there are options to keep them safe such as a medical alert system, but having a home care aide readily accessible is one of the most important and easiest ways to control the situation. It is the job of the family members to inform the home care agency of what you expect from them.
Document Patient’s Routine
To be successful, it is important to identify the patient’s daily routine and understand their behavioral patterns. Since care giving aides are the ones that tend to be the most familiar with the patients, they will be the first to notice a decline. Likewise, it is important to be on top of your loved one’s medication routine. Thankfully, the folks at Livi have solved that problem with a smart-medication dispenser.
It is important to set initial benchmarks so the healthcare workers and the care giving agency can determine if there has been a change in behavior. Having a doctor or a nurse evaluate the patient for what they can and can’t do is an essential way to set standards. If there are any signs of the patient getting worse, it is important for the care giving aide to immediately alert their supervisor who should then follow up with the family’s emergency contacts and healthcare providers.
What if a Change in Behavior is detected?
If a change in behavior is detected, the next step is contacting the physician for a formal diagnosis. In the event of a physical change, many times the patients are still able to live at home, but the physician might recommend more care giving hours or further home health services to assist with helping the patient get stronger. In regards to a mental decline, the situation can become a little more difficult. If the patient isn’t a danger to him or herself, they can most likely continue living on their own. However, if they wander out of their house, leave burners on, etc., they might need 24/7 supervision.
Depending on a person’s budget, seniors can sometimes “agein place.” When a person requires around the clock supervision, it can sometimes be worth looking into assisted living or a care home. See here for the benefits of each type of living. In-home caregivers range from trained medical professionals, able to assist with managing medications and vitals, to family members who have stepped up to the responsibility. Support can come in all forms and sometimes includes help with eating meals, bathing, exercising, or even just companionship. Depending on the situation, caregivers do not necessarily have to be a nurse or someone that is able to provide medical support. Home care helps give both you and your loved one peace of mind, knowing that someone can help with daily activities and chores that they cannot perform on their own.
Max Gottlieb is the content manager of Prime Medical Alert in Phoenix Arizona. Prime Medical operates nationwide and help seniors maintain their independence longer with added peace-of-mind.