You fear it’s time to get your mom help as she ages at home. You don’t know how to advocate for her. Here are tips on ways to get the best senior care plan in place to help her remain independent.
Attend Doctor Visits
Your mom should be seeing her doctor each year. If she’s not, schedule an appointment. Go to that doctor’s visit with her if she’ll let you. You can ask questions that she may not think of asking or have the confidence to ask.
Find out if your mom should be following a specific diet or needs to get more exercise. If she does, you may need to help her make those changes.
Hold Regular Family Meetings
When you have talked to the doctor, hold a family meeting. Talk about any health conditions your mom has that require her to change her lifestyle, such as diet or exercise, or recommendations for senior care services.
It’s a good time to talk about what other family members may have noticed. For example, your brother stopped by and found your mom struggling to carry the laundry basket up the stairs. That’s a sign that help is needed.
Pop In to Visit Without Warning
Your mom may not love you stopping in without warning, but it’s a good way to see how she’s really doing. If she doesn’t know you’re coming or has little time to prepare before you arrive, you’ll be able to check if she’s keeping her kitchen stocked with foods. You’ll see if she’s keeping up with housework and laundry.
Make sure you tell her that she doesn’t need to feed you. Take her out to lunch instead. You want to see if her house is reasonably free of clutter, that pets are tended to and not using the house as their bathroom, and that she’s taking medications. With this information, you’ll know if it’s time to hire senior care aides to help her with activities of daily living.
Work With a Social Worker
If it’s overwhelming or there are family disputes that are making it impossible to decide on your mom’s care needs, ask her doctor for a recommendation for a social worker. It can help to have an unbiased opinion helping you decide how to prioritize your mom’s needs.
When you have an idea on what senior care services will benefit your mom, call a senior care agency. You’ll get answers to questions and learn more about scheduling and rates. Once you have a caregiver stopping by, continue advocating for her care by keeping in touch with the caregiver or senior care agency to address any concerns or change services as needed.