If you are your elderly loved one’s main caregiver, then you may come across a few common problems during their care. If you do have issues caring for them, then it does not mean that you are failing as a caregiver. In fact, the majority of caregivers run into either health or financial issues during their caregiving career. Here are a few common issues that caregivers tend to run into when they begin caring for a loved one or a friend. Keep reading to find out the issues and learn about solutions that will make your life and your loved one’s life a lot easier.
If you are caring for an elderly loved one who has a medical condition, then it may be likely that they may have medical issues at some point. If this occurs under your care, then call their doctor immediately or call an ambulance if the issue is severe. If their health issue is not severe, then sit down and write down all of your observations about your loved one. Ask them their symptoms, their concerns and any questions your loved one may have and then phone their doctor. It is also a good idea to have a list of their medications present when talking with their doctor. Health issues may arise often if you are caring for someone who has a deteriorating disease such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia so it is essential that you have their doctor’s information handy.
Providing home health care for a loved one may get extremely expensive, especially if you are hiring outside help during times when you are unable to care for your loved one. To help with financial stresses you should review any financial assistance options for the person whom you are caring for including government help, veteran’s benefits and insurance policies. You also may be able to consult with an elder attorney who specializes in financial planning for seniors to help find ways to pay for your loved one’s care.
Boredom is a common feeling for anyone who is sick and under the care of another person. Even if you are your loved one’s main caregiver and you two have a great relationship, they still may grow bored under your care and you might as well. To help your loved one quell their boredom you can suggest a variety of activities such as going to the movies, going out to eat, going shopping or going on a walk. You can also look into senior outreach programs in your community for your senior. Often senior centers or retirement centers have programs that your loved one may partake in. If your loved one enjoys pets, then you may consider getting them a dog or a cat. Pets can help bring up your loved one’s spirits and give them a companion to love during the day.
Problems with a Caregiver
If you are not the only caregiver that your loved one has, then they may have issues with other caregivers. It can be hard for your loved one to suddenly have a stranger come into their home and help them with their everyday routine. If your loved one is not comfortable with their caregiver then issues could arise. If this occurs, then speak with your loved one to pinpoint their issues then gently bring up the subject to their caregiver. If the caregiver is unable to fix the problem and tensions arise, then it may be time to find a new caregiver.
Depression or Low Spirits
Declining health and losing independence can cause many elderly people to feel depressed and anxious. If your loved one is depressed, then you need to sit your loved one down and talk with them. Listen to your loved one carefully and try to hear all of their concerns and feelings. Talking to them about their feelings can help them articulate their feelings and start to work through their depression. If they do not get any better, then talk to their doctor. Their doctor may be able to refer them to a counselor or a psychiatrist who can help them through their depression.
Home care is a stressful situation for everyone involved. If you and your family are acting as your loved one’s caregiver, then tensions may arise between many of your family members. If this occurs, then you must talk through your issues before they get overblown. If necessary, hold a family meeting to air any grievances that any family member may have, including your elderly loved one. You may also wish to consider hiring a geriatric care manager to help facilitate your family meeting in order to ensure that everyone gets to say their concerns and is heard.
Your Own Emotions
If you are in charge of your loved one’s care, then you may find yourself getting emotional at times. Caring for someone is very stressful, and your own emotions may play a large role in your ability to provide your loved one appropriate care. Before you get so stressed out that you feel burnt out, learn to take care of yourself. You can confide in a friend, spouse or a professional to air any concerns you may have and get your emotions out. You may also find that pampering yourself with beauty treatments, a massage, a weekend getaway, a round of golf, or even a nap can do wonders for your psyche. Another way to relieve caregiver stress is to hire temporary caregivers to care for your loved one so that you can take a break or a vacation. But most importantly, you must learn to recognize when you are feeling stressed so that you can let out your emotions before you become overly stressed.
Caring for a loved one may be difficult at times. If you are a caregiver for an elderly loved one then you may come across a few of these common issues. With these tips you can learn to recognize the issues and combat them before they become a big deal.