Caring For Your Loved One as They Age

Whether you are still preparing for the responsibility, or you are already taking care of an aging loved one, there is a lot of practical information that you need. You need to address several things and make preparations. This can be an emotionally challenging experience. As your loved one ages, there are a lot of emotional, physical, and mental changes that occur and you need to be prepared for all of it.

In some instances, you might have to look for a life care facility or get them into an assisted living program. This is different from a nursing home and you have to understand how each of them operates. In this article, we look at some arrangements and preparations that you might have to make in the process of caring for an aging loved one.

Assisted Living Program

Registering your loved one for assisted living services is not easy. There are however many benefits to doing so. Assisted living services help to take care of the elderly by providing them with a supportive atmosphere where they can receive all the care they need.

If you are working full time, it may be difficult to find time to properly take care of your loved one. Fortunately, the staff in an assisted living home will be there to do so every day round the clock. They will handle any problems your loved ones might encounter and help them deal with them as effectively as possible.

An assisted living home can be a great option for retirement living. Living in these homes is not only about being taken care of. There are a lot of interesting activities that your loved one can be part of. From field trips to board games and social interaction, the list of benefits is endless. As soon as your loved one gets there, they will be met with a lineup of various activities.

These homes are usually quite welcoming. They are also a great way to allow your loved ones to meet with others of their age. Sometimes being around people of the same age as you can be quite comforting since there is a lot to share about the good old days. Many of those who stayed at assisted living homes reported that the experiences they had were comforting, and they managed to make a lot of friends.

Skilled Nursing Home Services

A skilled nursing facility is the ultimate form of care for the elderly. These homes provide what is known as custodial care. They help the older ones get in and out of bed and they assist with bathing, feeding, orthopedic rehabilitation, dressing, and moving around. The major difference between nursing homes and other facilities is that they can provide a degree of medical care.

Nursing homes employ licensed physicians who attend to each of the patients and cater to their healthcare needs. The physician should be at the premises most of the time. Additionally, some skilled nurses are always available at the home. Depending on the needs of patients, there can also be physical therapists and other health professionals at the home. Because of the presence of many different kinds of health professionals, nursing homes can offer a level of medical care that other homes do not provide.

As our loved one’s age, many people have to deal with moving their family members into skilled nursing homes. Sometimes the decision takes time and you get to process everything, but in some instances, it comes suddenly the following hospitalization. This can be quite stressful. The most important thing is to research and understand all about nursing homes before you find the one that’s best suited for the kind of care your loved one needs. Fortunately, because of the internet and online reviews, it is quite easy to do research even in a short space of time.

Thorough research can help you deal with your fears and make the best decision for your loved one. There are a lot of myths about nursing homes. One of those myths is that nursing homes are for people who don’t love or care about their family members. This is mostly a cultural thing.

Many cultures believe that it is a family’s duty to personally take care of their loved ones. Nowadays, because of work and tight schedules, that can do more harm than good. Having a loved one in a nursing home in such situations would not be an indication of a lack of care. If you can not attend to them, the best decision is to take them somewhere where they can receive the attention and help they need. In fact, that is the most responsible thing to do.

Another myth is that nursing homes are poorly run. It is important to do your research as mentioned before and get all your facts in place before you admit your loved one into a nursing home. If any incidents happened in the past, you will find out. All violations are usually made available to the public, and that is helpful in your decision-making.

When to consider a nursing home?

Considering a nursing home is usually accompanied by feelings of guilt, sadness, and frustration. However, when it’s necessary, you should not hesitate to do it. Below are some signs that you might need to move your loved one to a nursing home as soon as possible.

  • Your loved one’s disability is endangering their safety.
  • Your loved one has wandered off and gotten lost several times
  • You are neglecting all other responsibilities to take care of your loved one.
  • You now have chronic caregiver burnout
  • Your own health is declining, therefore you can not take care of your loved one
  • You can’t find time for your personal relationships
  • You are failing to meet the needs of your loved ones.
  • Paying for a nursing home is the most affordable of your other options.

If you decide that a nursing home is what’s best, accept your feelings and understand that you are not the only one dealing with this. Also, never be ashamed to admit that you need help.

After your loved one has gone to a nursing home, you should maintain regular contact with them. That way, you can act as their advocate ensuring that they are being kept well and that all of their needs are taken care of. The more you keep showing up and following up, the better they are likely to take care of your loved one.

Pre Planned Funeral Arrangements

Death is not an interesting subject, but it has to be addressed at some point in time. If you get to plan a send-off while there is still time, when it happens, the process can be easier for everyone involved. To some, this might feel like you want your loved one to die, and that’s probably why most people never talk about funerals with their loved ones. That being said, you will need to plan for a family member’s funeral so it’s important to know how to make smart decisions.

The first step is to understand what’s involved. To prepare for a funeral, you should know what happens at one. Take time to research and find out all that you need to know, including what to do with the corpse who will be there and what to do after. All this information will be greatly helpful when it comes to making the necessary arrangements.

With funerals, it’s ok to plan but avoid paying in advance. None of you know when the funeral will take place, hence it is better to just hold off on the payments. You can just save money or open a payable death account to finance the funeral services.

Estate Planning Lawyer

If your loved one has an estate or property that will need to be managed when they pass on, it might be best to arrange for an estate planning lawyer when they are still alive. The lawyer is well informed when it comes to what should be done and when and they can help guide you through the process

An estate planning lawyer will help you do the following:

  • Drafting a will
  • Naming beneficiaries
  • Establishing Power of Attorney
  • Finding out how you can lower or avoid estate taxes
  • Establishing a trust

The following are some benefits of working with an estate planning lawyer:

  • They will help you create a tailor-made plan according to your needs and your loved one’s situation
  • The estate planning lawyer is well versed and up to date with the latest trends in estate planning laws. They will help you make the best decisions that are legally enforceable

Planning an estate should not be a complicated process and it must not consume a lot of your time. If you need help, it’s best to consult a reliable and reputable estate planning lawyer. Apart from an estate planning lawyer and possibly a slip and fall attorney, you might also need to keep on retainer a delayed cancer diagnosis lawyer.

Hospice Agencies

It is important to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual support for an aged loved one who is dying. Providing quality care for them at the end of life ensures that they are comfortable. You should therefore learn how to support end-of-life care.

If a loved one has a life-limiting illness there are several processes involved including palliative care. This involves pain management treatment and dealing with all the barriers to a good quality of life while dealing with a terminal illness. Palliative care can stretch from the time of diagnosis to even after treatment has been stopped.

Hospice care, on the other end, is focused on ensuring that a person who has stopped disease-fighting treatments is comfortable while they prepare to die. It provides a way to monitor what the person needs and to coordinate family and professional caregiving. Hospice and palliative care depends on the efforts of a number of the following medical professionals.

  • Caregivers
  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Social workers
  • Spiritual advisors
  • Making decisions

Making Your Home Elderly Friendly

If you choose to have your loved one age at home rather than checking them into an assisted living home, you have to ensure that your home is comfortable enough for them. That means you will have to make several renovations to your home.

The following are examples of some modifications you can make:

  • Install grab bars in the toilet, shower, and tub
  • Install a walk-in tub or shower seat
  • Do away with unnecessary rugs and any objects that might cause slipping
  • Arrange your furniture so that there is a clear walking path
  • Secure electrical cables to avoid them tripping and falling
  • Install a home elevator
  • Ensure that there is enough lighting in the home
  • Make sure the bedroom is properly furnished and that the floors are not slippery
  • Apply some non-slip tape on all uncarpeted steps
  • Increase the doorway width especially if they are using a wheelchair
  • Lower your home sinks and countertops
  • If possible replace ceramic tiles with wooden or vinyl tiles for better grip

Advantages of Good Natural Lighting in the Home – Sunlight is a good source of vitamin D. This vitamin is needed for the strength of teeth and bones and it’s very important if your loved one is spending more time indoors. Ensure that your home windows let in enough sunlight but limit glare.

To properly take care of your loved ones, you need to stay up to date with the latest trends in elderly care and the best practices in long-term care. This will help you create a safe environment for your loved ones and ensure that they are independent and comfortable.

The good thing about helping a loved one through the changes that come with aging is that you get to share some good and tough moments. Most of the changes that take place are both emotional and practical. Remember, this process is challenging for everyone. They are probably used to taking care of themselves without your help therefore letting you do everything might be a challenge mentally.

What’s important is to be well researched and prepared. That way you will be in a better position to handle all the changes as they come.

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