Receiving the news that your elderly family member needs constant care can be difficult to take, particularly if you have never dealt with this before. While assisted care homes are great for ensuring your loved one stays safe and secure, many people don't like to delegate this task and choose to designate themselves as caregiver for their family member. However, if you do choose to be the primary caregiver for your loved one, it's important to avoid making common mistakes. Below are three common mistakes people make when providing at-home healthcare and how to avoid them:
If you've taken on the task of caring for your elderly family member at home, it's understandable that you will try and do everything in your power to ensure their comfort and well-being. However, often this can result in overexertion, which exposes you to the risk of injury and burnout.
One source of injury lies in moving your elderly family member to and from their bed. If they have an advanced illness, or if they have lost mobility in their legs, you may have to physically lift them out of their bed. Lifting patients can be extremely stressful on your lower back, so it's important to take proper precautions when moving your family member.
The best way to avoid injury is to ask someone to help you with this; however, this isn't always possible. If you have to carry out the lift yourself, make sure you practice proper body mechanics. If you are able to utilize existing supports or transfer systems, do so. If these aren't available, make sure you bend at the knees when lifting and don't place unnecessary pressure on your spine.
Not Modifying Your Home
You may think that your care and attention are all that are required to care for your loved on. However, this usually isn't the case. If you plan on providing at-home healthcare, you may need some modifications to your home. For example, if your family member has difficulty walking, you may need to install a stair lift to ensure they can safely travel up and down the stairs. If you need assistance with lifting, you may need to install an electric hoist. Whatever it may be, speak with a healthcare professional about any home modifications that could make your life easier.
It's also extremely important to eliminate potential sources of danger from your home. If your elderly family member has trouble moving from one place to another, make sure all pathways are clear and your home is free of clutter. Make sure all electrical cables are placed out of the way under rugs or behind sofas, and take care not to leave any sharp objects out that may damage your family member if they fall over.
Not Planning for Long Distance Care
Many people choose to act as a caregiver for their elderly relative even though they don't stay under the same roof. This is okay; however, you must have a contingency plan in place to ensure that your loved one has round-the-clock care should they need it. Even if you do stay in the same home as your loved one, it's important to have a plan in place for when you are out of the house.
One of the best ways you can ensure your family member is safe is to install alarms around your home. These alarms can be linked to your phone, or, if you are a great distance away, to emergency services. This ensures that if your loved one is having any serious difficulties, they will be able to contact emergency services to get the help that they need.
Another great way to utilize technology to your advantage is to use sensors. These sensors are placed around your home and are able to detect if the patient is moving, if they have fallen, and even if they have missed a meal. While not all patients require this level of monitoring, sensors are particularly useful for those with Alzheimer's or dementia as they are able to track the whereabouts of your loved one and let you know if they are safe and well.
The best way to ensure that your loved one has the level of care they need is to seek professional help. Therefore, if you are inexperienced with providing this type of care, speak to a home healthcare professional who will be able to help you with providing the standard of care your family member needs to remain comfortable while at-home.Share
22 December 2015
I was always very healthy throughout my childhood, but when I became a teenager, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Thankfully, I had the support of my loving family to help keep me upbeat during a time that could have led to me experiencing the depression that some do after they first learn they will have an illness for life. I am very grateful for the advice I have gotten throughout my life, so I decided to create a blog where I can share all of the advice that has helped me live a happy, healthy life, despite having a chronic illness. Since I am on a medication that suppresses my immune system, I have also studied up on many other illnesses and tips for avoiding them and treating them. I plan to post health tips for people of a variety of ages and suffering with various illnesses!