Preparing for your Elderly Loved One’s Care – Part 1

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Part 1: Recognizing the Type of Care Needed —

Are you currently caring for a loved one? Maybe your parents. Or do you find yourself possibly having to care for your parents soon? How do you even start? What do you think about? What questions do you ask? Let’s talk about that today.

Welcome to The Senior Circle where we hope to inspire and help others by providing valuable relevant information related to caring for an elderly loved one. Hi, my name is Dawn Neely and I’ll be your host. Thank you for joining us.

Studies show that about 17% of adult children will end up caring for their parents. And that number rises as our age increases. Caring for our parents can be incredibly rewarding. It can be fulfilling. It means a great deal to us to be able to care for those that dedicated so much time and dedication to us, but it can also be very stressful. And we find that a lot of adult caregivers find themselves burnt out. The easiest way to avoid that is to understand exactly what comes along with caregiving and understand the type of support and care that our parents need.

We want to always be realistic about the type of care that our parents need. And one of the things that we can do is try to really understand the support level that they require. You can even try journaling, keeping track, actually keeping lists of the things that you find your loved one struggling with can be very helpful. Those lists can be created on a daily basis. What activities during the day are they struggling with? Those lists can be weekly and then monthly. Once you’ve compiled that list, you’ll really get a good understanding of the things that your parents or your loved ones are really struggling with and could use some support in.

So by making these lists, it really gives you a good understanding of the types of things that can be done to support your parents or your loved ones. You’re making a list of ADLs. You might have heard somebody talk to you about ADLs at one point or another. Maybe somebody from a home care company or a hospital asks you, “So how are they doing with their ADLs?” I love it when people throw acronyms around like you’re supposed to know what they are. But ADLs stand for Activities of Daily Living. And these activities are considered crucial for a person to be able to remain independently and safely on their own. Those activities of daily living that we speak of are, they’re different things such as having functional mobility, being able to get around, being able to bathe oneself. So bathing is an activity of daily living. Toileting, being able to take care of oneself in the bathroom. Feeding oneself is also considered an activity of daily living, as well as dressing. So when you’re making these lists, you can determine if one of these things is included in those things that are becoming more difficult for your parents. So Activities of Daily Living are considered extremely important. And you might even hear about activities of daily living for example with a long-term care insurance company, that’s criteria that they take into account to determine if someone who has long-term care insurance can actually avail themselves of the benefits. Are they able to handle their ADLs?

There are other activities that are called IADLs, they’re Instrumental Activities of Daily Living that are a little less essential per se in terms of being able to stay independently and safely in one’s home. But they’re also very important. For example, maintaining one’s home, doing light housekeeping in the home is important. It’s important to be in a clean environment. Laundry is an instrumental activity of daily living that is something that we all need. We need to make sure that we have clean clothing but also clean linens for our bed, clean towels, et cetera. Shopping for necessities, that’s an instrumental activity of daily living. If we can’t shop and we can’t bring things into our home that are necessary, then we need some support. We need support with transportation to and from, doctors appointments, running errands, and things of that nature. Meal preparation is very important as well. Our seniors or our loved ones who are unable to do that for themselves experience a lack of the ability to handle that instrumental activity of daily living.

So what we see is that there are two levels, kind of, of activities that are crucial and very important for our loved one to be able to remain independently in their home. As you’re making lists, and as you’re noting in these daily, weekly, monthly journals, you can see the types of things that are just becoming a little bit more difficult. You can make a plan to support in those areas and you’re not alone.

In our next video, we’ll discuss the things to look for to identify caregiver burnout and the different things that you can do and the help you can seek to avoid it.

All in all we know that caring for your loved one, caring for your parents can be very stressful and very difficult. But if you take steps to make sure that your parent feels secure, safe, and loved, I think you’re going to do very well.

If you have any questions, if you’d like to know anything about what non-medical services private duty care could provide for your senior loved one, please give us a call at Seniors Helping Seniors. We’d be happy to discuss with you the different type of services that are available and how we might be able to help. You can reach us at 248.969.4000 and we would love to talk to you.

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