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Elders in the family are dear to you. You probably want to take the best care of them. During the times of the recent pandemic, the seniors are more susceptible to getting infected. Whether you stay near or away from your parents or elders, you can still visit them often, take stock of their health and needs, or stay updated with the latest developments and information with the help of technology. Here are all the ways to stay informed about your parents’ or elders’ health to help them the best you can. ~ Ed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought our attention to many fundamental aspects in our daily lives, from the ‘normal’ life that we took for granted to how valuable human connections are. More importantly, it highlighted the fact that senior care is often overlooked.
Older people are facing the most threats and challenges at this time due to the physiological changes and underlying conditions that typically come with age. This fact increased awareness on the importance of supporting and protecting the elderly in our community, and what better way to do that than by staying informed about their health?
Now, if you have an elderly parent, friend, or close relative, caring for them is probably a top priority for you.
Even if you are the busiest person in the world, and whether or not you live close to your elders, you’ll want to stay informed about the latest developments in the medical field that could improve their health, and also stay up to date with them. To help you do that, here are a few tips that will help you keep a watchful eye on your elderly loved ones.
6 Ways to Stay Informed About Your Elders’ Health
If you live away from your old parents or loved elders, then besides making frequent calls and visits, you’ve the options of hiring a caregiver, moving them to a nursing home, and more.
Assess Their Needs
To properly care for an elderly parent, relative, friend, or neighbor, you must first understand their needs. So, before you make any decisions, take a step back, and try to determine what kind of help your elderly loved one needs, and how often they need it.
Assess their needs when it comes to family support, medical requirements, home safety, meal preparation, mobility, cognitive health, personal hygiene, and psychological well-being. By examining the kind of support they are already getting in each of these categories, you can figure out what kind of services or care they need in order to stay safe, happy, and healthy. That is the first step to staying informed about your elders’ health.
Secure Excellent In-Home Care
If you can’t personally ensure that all their needs are met, you need to secure excellent in-home care from a provider who can properly offer them the medical care they need and keep you updated about their health status when you’re not there in person.
Before hiring a caregiver, whether you do it privately or go through a home care agency, interview several candidates, and don’t hesitate to contact their previous clients to verify their employment history and level of adequacy. Give the caregiver as much information as you can about the elder, including their medical condition, dietary restrictions, preferences, and personal interests.
Also, suggest activities that they may enjoy in and out of the home, and frequently check-in with the caregiver to make sure your elderly loved one is well taken care of.
Consider Moving Them to a Specialized Facility
Let’s face it, moving your elderly parent or close relative to a nursing home isn’t an easy decision to make; however, in many cases, it can be the best choice for them.
If your parents are no longer able to care for themself on their own or need round-the-clock care, living at home will present more challenges to their quality of life than moving into a specialized facility. As you can see on this website, you can always stay in touch with the caregiving team to ensure the elder’s needs are met.
Ask the aged care provider for regular updates, whether by signing up for newsletters, or opting to receive text and email notifications. This way, you will stay informed about any changes concerning the visiting hours, activities and events, policies, healthcare services, and so on.
Schedule Family Visits
Whether they’re living at home or in a specialized facility, schedule regular family visits to your elderly loved one to spend some much-needed quality time together, and catch up on their health and wellbeing. Not only will this help strengthen your bond, but family visits can also be one of the most effective ways of conducting elder care planning.
One-on-one interaction helps keep everyone on the same page, enables you to spot anything out of the ordinary, and ensures that your loved one is socialized and stimulated. Besides the regular visits, be sure to call your elderly loved one regularly to check-in, and consider video chatting with them to have visual proof that they’re doing well, and interact with them on a deeper level.
Hire a Geriatric Care Manager
Even if the in-home care company or nursing home employ care coordinators within their agency, it pays to hire a private Geriatric Care Manager (GCM) who can create a well-coordinated and personalized plan to keep your loved one’s care at a steady flow and ensure that both the caregiver and family are happy with the care as well as the elder.
From securing and managing caregivers to consulting with doctors about the best approaches for optimal outcomes, a GCM will manage all aspects of caring for your loved one, possibly saving you time, money, and hassle down the road.
Make Use of Caregiver-focused Tools and Websites
One of the many perks of living in this modern age is the wide range of online resources available to family members and caregivers today. You can find everything from specially-designed software and social support forums to discussion boards and detailed health information online.
Additionally, there are several online tools, such as WebMD Health Manager, that allow you to privately share medical records and coordinate with other family members and caregivers. Utilizing such resources will help you keep track of doctor appointments, family visits, and more. In turn, this will help you keep up with everything you need to know about your loved one’s health.
Aging parents are often in a vulnerable position, especially if their children or closest relatives live far away.
As an adult child, the least you could do to ensure your elders’ wellbeing is to stay informed about their health. This means checking up on them on a regular basis, making sure that they get proper care and keeping up with the latest medical innovations and products that could make their lives easier.
Remember, nobody wants to lose control over their life, so be sure to involve your elderly parent as much as possible when planning for their care.
Over to you
What do you do to stay informed about your parents’ or elders’ health to take care of them? Share your tips and personal experiences in the comments.