When we have a loved one that we care for, one of the things we worry about is prolonging their dignity as long as we can. This means helping your loved one ensure that they can continue to maintain their own personal care, hygiene, and more with very little help. This extra step provides your loved one with not only dignity, but a sense of independence which is vitally important for their mental health. So how do we help our loved ones with their personal care so that they can continue to do it for themselves as long as possible? We have a few tips and tricks that may help!
Streamline the Process of Getting Dressed
When we are providing care to a loved one, we have to remember that there are a variety of issues we may be dealing with. When caring for a parent, you may worry about ensuring that things are easier to reach, either from a wheelchair or by helping them not have to bend over as much. When we are caring for someone who is losing their sight, or their memory, we have a whole other set of circumstances to worry about. One thing is for certain, getting dressed in the morning shouldn’t be a chore. Try organizing your loved one’s closet and dresser by outfits. If you are working with someone who struggles with mobility, lower or raise their selections and ensure that they only need to reach for something once.
If you are working with an individual who is losing their sight, consider an “order” to the way the outfits are hung. For example, warmer clothes on the right, or dressy clothes on the left. Regardless, organizing a closet and dresser by outfits makes the task simple and stress free!
Medications Made Simple
Most pharmacies offer some type of delivery service, which may be the first step in simplifying the medication process. Next, though, it can get confusing when to take what, and remembering what has already been taken. A simple tip that can help with this is to make sure that when new medications come in, you write down the time of day and number of pills to take on the lid in permanent marker. Even if your loved one uses a pill organizer, the lid labels on the bottles will remind them which pills to put in what slot of the organizer when they refill it.
Make Healthcare Appointments Simple
Sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of everything you need to take with you to a doctors appointment. Simplify this task by making a list the week before of everything you need to bring with you, and any questions you or your loved one may have for the physician while you are there. Next, gather up any documents into a manilla envelope. Make sure you include your list of questions! Finally, on the day of the appointment, you simply take the envelope with you to the appointment. Simple and easy!
Prepare for Emergencies
We don’t like to think about an instance where our loved one may need emergency assistance, but if you prepare properly, then you’ll be glad for how smoothly things go if there is an emergency. One such instance might be the need to call an ambulance or see emergency physicians that aren’t a normal part of your loved one’s healthcare team. Make a kit that includes a current and accurate list of medications, allergies, and physician information. Also include nitroglycerin or any other emergency medication that is prescribed and may become necessary. Finally make sure any DNR or advanced directives are included in this kit and it is easily accessible and noticeable in your loved one’s home, or on their person.
Remember, at Homewatch CareGivers of Charlotte, we are here to help. Our goal is for you to always feel supported and have a place to turn when you need answers to your questions. If you need support from one of our caregivers, don’t hesitate to contact us to help you determine the services your loved one may be eligible for. Reach out today to learn more!