One day everything’s fine; the next day it isn’t. Suddenly you’re in a whirlwind of emotions and expectations, wondering what to do next. The to-do list seems like it’s a mile long. Decisions go on forever. And bringing the entire family on board is way more difficult than you ever thought it would be.
Welcome to the world of caregiving. Unfortunately, most of us enter it in crash-course style.
And while it may be difficult to know where to begin, in many cases you simply fall into the next step based on need. But even with a few simple concepts in mind, you can create a fairly comprehensive list to help you bring your entire family on board.
Every family’s situation is different. Some may face temporary caregiving, which can be caused by surgery or a fall. Some may face permanent caregiving, after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, for instance. This is your starting point. This can help direct you into all decisions made for the future.
Where to live?
A lot of things should be taken into consideration before you make adjustments to the way you live as a family. Will your parent need help bathing or dressing? Can they be trusted on their own? Is this something that will improve over time?
As a caregiver, your number one priority is ensuring your loved one is safe at all times. In some cases, simple modifications can improve the situation drastically. In some case housing arrangements must be adjusted to fit the new lifestyle.
In most cases, a loved one will always be happier and perform better if they are allowed to live in the comfort of their own home. You can achieve this by making adjustments to the house, opening up doorways for mobility, installing aging in place technology designed for easy access.
Do you have legal authority to act on your parents’ behalf? In many cases, this can be a long and tedious process if it isn’t handled early in the situation. Meet with legal counsel as early as possible to make sure you have everything in place. That includes wills, power of attorney, advance care directives, living wills, and if needed, guardianship.
Can you suddenly take over the financial role of your parent? Do you know what bills they have in place, what accounts they have opened? Is there an easy way to have access to all financial information quickly so you can step in and take over as needed? Know where paperwork is and how to access funds if need be.
How will care be paid for?
Long term care can be expensive, have your parents taken it into consideration? Do they have long term care insurance in place? Are they eligible for Medicare, Medicaid or Veteran’s Assistance? Be sure everyone in the family understands financial obligations and where the money will come from to finance different things.
With more conditions, more doctors and medical assistance will be required. To help doctors provide the best care, create a full medical history and use that as you move from place to place. Learn how medications interact with one another. Take notes at every visit, sharing the information with others in the family that will be making major decisions. Don’t be afraid or intimidated to ask questions or bring up concerns. Also, have a medical release form ready, so you have permission to speak with doctors directly about your parent’s health.
Finding Local Help
Your best course of action is to find help in your community that can make your job a little easier. When you choose Adeste, we’re not just in-home care providers, we also are a resource to help you navigate the caregiving process in a smoother way. We know the Denver Metro marketplace and can make many suggestions to help your loved one along. We work one on one with you to ensure your loved one is receiving the best care possible.
Want to find out more? The best way to move forward is to start with our complimentary request. Learn a little more about us; we’ll learn a little more about you. We can help give you peace of mind as you navigate through the coming weeks and months.