A care plan can help you assess the full extent of what preparations you need to take when caring for your loved one. It is a document that outlines someone’s health conditions, current treatments, and specific care requirements. The plan should summarize what needs to be done to meet the person’s care needs. It allows patients, family members, and other health professionals to manage risk by knowing what to do daily and in cases of an emergency.
Start your planning by understanding all the medical conditions your loved one has. Older adults often experience various chronic conditions and to properly care for them, you need to understand each of them and how they likely may progress over time. It is also necessary to discuss with your loved one’s primary doctor about their medical needs such as:
Make sure to outline any specific dietary restrictions and physical care requirements in the plan. Address the following questions:
If your loved one has dementia or related mental/emotional conditions, are you fully equipped to assist them? Care recipients with these conditions require stability and need a set routine and environment. You may need extra help from specialized care to meet these needs. For example, services such as companion care can help your loved one if they need emotional support at home.
Aging and losing independence can cause seniors to commonly experience social isolation which can trigger loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Try to find ways for your loved one to stay occupied and maintain social interaction. Are there classes they can attend? Could you arrange a regular get-together with family and friends that they could look forward to? Or, what about setting up a daily walk or another outdoor activity? These ideas can help support your loved one’s outlook on life which will make aging in place much easier.
Now that you have outlined their basic care needs, consider the risks your aging relative could face at home. Make a list that entails any issues that could occur at home such as taking the wrong medication, falling and not being able to get up, or sudden deterioration in an existing condition. Create a step-by-step response plan for each situation they could face and document it in the senior care plan. Make sure everyone involved (caregivers, family members) are aware of the response plans in cases of emergency.
Once you have addressed all elements of your loved one’s care, consider how you will meet their needs and if/which services you will need to acquire.
Creating a care plan is a great first step to taking care of your loved one. Establishing a written plan helps you prioritize their needs and improve their overall quality of life. 1+1 Cares provides additional tips for caregiving successfully.
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