Care of Elderly -
Don't Be Overwhelmed

Elderly issues can come suddenly, without warning

Care of elderly is very likely something you may be very involved with at some point, as I am now -- for your family, or even friends. You may care for your spouse. Or if you are a baby boomer like me, an elderly parent, or perhaps a sibling as you age. Quality caregiving, as you may know, is one of the major elderly issues.

If you haven't thought caregiving through ahead of time, you may become overwhelmed. Our family thought we had pretty much thought it all through. But unforeseen things do come up. (Like Dad actually moving in with me, at age 94). But you will find that there are many options available, whether it be the fundamentals of caregiving for home health care, or a long term care community.

But first, you need to get prepared for what may be ahead. There are many different factors and scenarios, of course, but here we'll provide a few guidelines to consider. And many of them from very personal experience.

Caregiving reaches into many areas, including memory loss, so the best plan should be efficient and detailed. Thank heavens I'm a detail nut, so planning this through came more easily to me than it might to some. Although sometimes the need for elderly assistance comes on gradually, it can also be quite sudden, leaving everyone in somewhat of a tailspin.

Dad, for instance, lost a great deal of his eyesight almost over night. His macular degeneration suddenly caused a lot of bleeding in his eye. And he was alone down in Arizona. Suddenly he could not read the labels on food packaging or figure out what was in the grocery store, much less get to it. We had to rush to his aid and move him back here with family.

You may already have some guidance...or not. We can help. Including if you're needing lots of senior activity ideas. The first thing to remember is...

Just don’t try to do it all yourself!

(I almost made that mistake -- thinking I could Do It All -- wrong!) There are many excellent professionals in various aspects of caregiving who have devoted their careers to this and who are available to help you. (In fact, you may find out you enjoy it too, and may consider it yourself).

Communicating

Care of the elderly requires patience and understanding. Their lives are changing. They may not be able to understand or communicate effectively. There are many elderly communication issues that occur, many of which I have experienced first-hand with Dad. So I've written a separate page about it, with my ideas.

Be sure to call on other family members (including kids!), professionals, state and country resources, and perhaps neighbors or friends to help. And when necessary, do seek lots of advice from those who specialize in care of elderly.

No doubt about it -- you will need help. No one is any good to anyone else when burned out. To prepare a plan, I first had to ask myself the basic questions,

Who...What...When...How...

These, of course, are standard for almost any problem solving in life. It makes things easier if we also keep these four questions in mind when making our plan for the care of elderly. (I share some of my ideas on our page on  Elderly Help - Making a Plan,) -- maybe they can help you too.

Home Healthcare Information

One of the important elderly issues to consider is where caregiving will take place. Most families want to try to maintain care for elderly in-home as long as possible. We found this to be far more cost-efficient. With some thinking through. As you make your plan and review our items in the Making a Plan page (see link above), think of ways this can be done.

With care of elderly, staying in one's home is more familiar and usually more comforting -- and we found it to be much less expensive. Bring in help from family and friends. Even so, you may find you need outside assistance. Even though I am able to take care of Dad myself (so far), I know anything could come up at any time to change this. This brings up many questions about care of elderly:

Care of elderly in-home is usually more affordable than the monthly fees in an assisted living facility or nursing home.

You may also find it valuable to hire the services of a licensed geriatric care manager (a nurse or social worker who specializes in care of elderly), especially if you live far away from the person who needs care. We almost did this in order to have Dad stay at home in Arizona, but being almost deaf and blind, it would have been too confusing for him. So check out all options and compare expenses.

Most elderly problems are related to health: physical, mental and emotional. Our above-mentioned pages on the fundamentals of caregiving can help you sort out what you need to know about caregiver duties, home healthcare providers, and types of long term care.

Read more about care of elderly on these pages:

Care For Elderly In Home - Tips and Ideas -- Care for elderly in home takes a lot of planning, whether a loved one is staying in their own home or moving in with someone else (perhaps you). Here are some great tips, including having some fun!

Elderly Safety Issues -- Elderly safety issues, I learned quickly, were some of the most important matters I faced taking care of Dad. Read about my experiences and the safety solutions that I learned.


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