Family caregivers often perform a long list of duties for their aging relatives. When asked what tasks being a caregiver involves, you’re probably quick to list things like organizing medications, cleaning the house, or cooking meals. You may not even think about the ways that you help your loved one by being an advocate for their health care. If the idea of being a healthcare advocate is new to you, the 3 tips below for being a better advocate may be helpful.
#1 Attend Medical Appointments
Of course, caregivers can’t simply start coming to doctor appointments with older adults without talking to them. Ask the senior if it is alright with them that you attend appointments with them so you can help better manage their care. If they give you permission, come to appointments prepared to take notes and ask questions. It can be helpful to write down questions you have before the appointment to make sure you don’t forget them.
#2 Keep Track of Medications
Make a list of all the prescription and non-prescription medications your aging relative takes. Include supplements as well. Medication errors are a serious problem, affecting 1.5 million people each year. By keeping a list of medications and bringing it with you to doctor’s appointments, you can help prevent drug interactions. When the older adult is prescribed with a new medication, caregivers should not be afraid to ask questions, such as what the medication is supposed to do and what the possible side effects are.
#3 Have a Plan for Hospitalization
Being prepared for a hospital stay can make it easier on both the older adult and their caregiver. When hospitalization is pre-planned, you’ll have a chance to take care of things like contacting the insurance company to make sure the procedure is covered and packing a bag. However, in emergency situations, it can be helpful to have a plan created ahead of time. Take some time to think about what might happen in an emergency situation and be prepared for it.
For example, does the older adult have pets that will need taking care of? If so, who will care for them? Write the plan down so that you and other family caregivers can follow it easily. If your loved one has dementia, be sure that the hospital staff in the emergency room are made aware of it immediately. This will allow them to take steps to make the experiencing as comfortable as possible for the senior.
If you or an aging loved one is considering Elder Care in Wyoming, OH, please contact the caring staff at Queen City Elder Care today. Serving Cincinnati and Surrounding Communities. Call Us Today (513) 510-4410.
Michele Vollmer is a visionary leader who is perpetually searching for ways to improve, so to remain at the leading edge of the home care industry.She has served in the healthcare industry since 1989, including pharmaceutical and home health sales, as well as hospice sales and sales management.
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