80% of elderly patients choose to receive senior care in their own homes.
This is because at-home care offers more privacy and comfort for older adults than nursing homes do. As a caregiver, you want to be able to meet these expectations as best as you can.
You also don’t want to make any mistakes that risk your patients’ comfort and health.
Which mistakes do caregivers usually make? What caregiving responsibilities are overlooked? How are these responsibilities important to your patients?
Keep reading to learn more. Below, we’ll cover some common mistakes to avoid when caring for elderly parents.
When caring for an elderly parent, account for all their sensitive documents. Doing so will prepare the patient for any financial and medical emergencies. It will also prepare them for any real estate disputes.
An emergency may prompt a scramble for the patient’s medical and insurance information. If their will cannot be recovered after their passing, then the issue of inheritance becomes complicated. Filing away these documents will minimize any administrative complications.
It’s best to collect as many important documents as possible. Some of these documents include:
- Wills and trusts
- Healthcare insurance information
- Bank account information
- Home insurance payment documents
This information will allow you to take care of elderly patients’ health without having to rush for paperwork. Despite what emergency may appear, caregivers will have everything they need to sign off on patients’ medical treatments, pay their bills, and more.
Overpromising the roles you can take on can be devastating to your patient. While you may have fully intended to take on these responsibilities beforehand, overloading your daily task list is counterintuitive to being productive within your role.
If caregivers cannot accommodate all the labor they’ve promised to shoulder, they may get overwhelmed. Feeling overwhelmed will result in subpar elderly care. The caregivers will not be able to devote adequate attention to each task. This can have consequences for your patient — consequences that are both physical and mental.
Instead, be realistic about what you can handle. Speak with other experts and professionals about what your workload should be. It may be best to slowly adjust to your senior care role with additional help so that you can gauge how much aid you’ll permanently need.
Whether you promised to take on too many responsibilities or not, you may realize that you need help caring for elderly parents at home. If so, seek help immediately so that your patient can get the full range of care they deserve. Not only that, you’ll be able to take care of yourself, which is ultimately beneficial to your patient as well.
Of course, every individual should take care of their well-being primarily for their own sake. But if you’re overextending yourself for the sake of your patient, understand that you could be thwarting your efforts through excessive labor.
Regardless of how much dedication you have for your patient, even if it involves a familial bond, burnout is indicative of extreme mental health distress. This distress can cause decreased productivity and lower quality of work.
For the sake of yourself and your patient, seek help if your current workload is unsustainable. If you want to care for your patients for years in great health, seek help when needed.
Be Proactive During Medical Visits
When caregivers accompany their patients during their medical visits, it is not simply to chaperone them. Instead, they are learning about the treatments they must administer to their patients. They take care of prescriptions, store documents, and much more.
Caregivers that do not fully assume these responsibilities can miss critical information for treatment, medication, and more. This is especially true if their patient is particularly incapacitated. These patients have even more need for caregivers capable of acting on their behalf.
Your patients’ medical visits are important for your role as a caregiver. Attentive involvement can help your patient receive care without juggling the details of their own treatment. This is an important part of maximizing your patients’ comfort and sustaining their health.
Maintain a proactive role, even if your patient can initially take charge during their medical visits. If you plan on providing the same patient with long-term care, you must be able to compensate for inevitable cognitive decline.
Ask the Hard Questions
If you’re related to the patient, you may dread discussions of posthumous arrangements. Despite this, it’s still important for caregivers to have these conversations.
Otherwise, plans for funeral proceedings will slow down. The absence of a funeral and the stress of planning one will also prevent the patient’s family from being able to grieve in peace. With the emotions of you and your family at stake, it’s best to have difficult conversations as soon as possible.
Caring for your elderly parents is more than about following a schedule. It also depends on how much closure and peace you provide. Start providing this closure by possessing the courage to engage in difficult conversations.
Don’t Make These Mistakes When Caring for Elderly Parents
Caregivers have important roles in the lives of their patients. Not only does caring for elderly patients ensure that they’re healthy and well-groomed, but it also provides a crucial companionship.
At Alternative Homemaking With a Heart, we understand great senior care. That’s why we offer a diverse array of attentive caregiver services. If you’re looking for a caregiver for the elderly patients in your life, contact us today!