Regardless of whether a senior lives in their own home or within an assisted living community in TX, there’s no doubting that family caregivers have a lot to juggle on a daily basis. With February drawing to a close, now is a great opportunity to think about how you want your relative’s care to look for the remainder of the year (and beyond).
As an assisted living facility with years of experience in senior care, we created this guide with family caregivers in mind. By covering three vital facets of senior care: the senior, the caregiver and future planning, we’re here to offer you the expert support you deserve.
Tips for Family Caregivers: Caring for Your Loved one
Improving Home Safety
As your loved one ages, you might notice their physical care needs evolving. For example, it’s common for seniors to experience reduced mobility, and if your parent or relative is still living in their own home, this environment might start to present some newfound challenges. Thankfully, there are a range of useful provisions family caregivers can put in place to improve safety in the home for seniors.
Installing strong, sturdy handrails on staircases, beside your loved one’s bed or in the bathroom can reduce their risk of experiencing a fall, for example. You may also wish to provide your loved one with an alarm button to help them call for assistance quickly in the case of a fall or accident. For tailored guidance on how to improve the safety of your loved one’s home, speak to an occupational therapist.
Tackling Isolation and Loneliness
Isolation and feelings of loneliness are common amongst seniors, who have often experienced the loss of a spouse, close friends or siblings. And as a family caregiver with other commitments to attend to, you might not be able to spend as much time with your loved one as you would like. If you think your relative is struggling with loneliness, why not find out if their local community hosts any groups or classes aimed at seniors?
Many assisted living communities in Texas host a range of social and recreational groups for aging seniors, providing the perfect opportunity for your loved one to enhance their social life and form new friendships. If your relative is experiencing a vastly reduced social life alongside other issues like reduced mobility, an assisted living facility could offer the perfect balance of independent living, social interaction and improved safety.
Tips for Family Caregivers: Caring for you
Honoring Your Needs
There’s no denying that being a family caregiver can sometimes be exhausting. Therefore, it’s absolutely vital to honor your needs, treating your health as a non-negotiable priority. Taking care of your own physical, mental and emotional wellbeing will help you provide the best care possible, but above anything else, you simply deserve to feel happy and healthy. Family caregivers often push their own needs aside, putting everyone else first instead. Take a moment to remember that you are worthy of rest, exercise and nourishment.
Think about the small things you can do with the time you have to improve your health. Perhaps you would benefit from scheduling a physical health screening, or simply taking 15 minutes out of your day for a quick, mindful walk? Actively prioritizing time to yourself is an excellent way to improve overall wellbeing, while reducing your risk of caregiver burnout.
Part of honoring your own needs can come from accepting (or seeking out) support with caregiving. The type of support you would benefit most from will be highly individual; you might need practical support with your relative’s care, or emotional support from friends or a social group for family caregivers, for example. Everyone needs a little help and a kind, listening ear from time to time, and family caregivers are no different.
Tips for Family Caregivers: Caring for the Future
Organizing and Administration
Dealing with the administration that comes with a family caregiver role can feel overwhelming. With legal, health and financial documents to compete with, you might not know where to start. If your loved one is still fairly independent and living in their own home, now is the ideal time to make sure everything is in place.
Some important tasks, like recording your loved one’s medical wishes or preparing for future care can be difficult to discuss, but could save a lot of heartache down the line. Should you need to make any medical or care-related decisions for your loved one in the future, it’s invaluable to have a clear, documented picture of what they want. If there are legal issues like organizing healthcare or financial power of attorney to address, it may be worth liaising with an expert attorney for professional guidance and support.
Thinking about Assisted Living
If you feel your loved one might benefit from moving to assisted living in the future, we’d recommend starting your research earlier rather than later. Looking around without added time pressure will boost your chances of finding a community that fits your senior relative’s needs, wishes and desired lifestyle perfectly. It can also help your loved one come round to the idea at their own pace, rather than feeling rushed into a decision they’re unsure about.
Take some time to sit with your relative and create a shortlist of communities you might like to visit or find out more about. If you think the next stage in your loved one’s retirement could be a move to assisted living, give us a call or arrange a tour today – we’d be delighted to show you how we dedicate ourselves to seniors and family caregivers every day.