Sometimes, it’s hard to see a loved one unable to live the way they should be due to an illness or a sudden injury. Going the extra mile to extend your affection when they need it the most is the right thing to do. However, becoming a caregiver is no easy task, whether you’re doing it professionally or stepping up as a loyal friend or family member. There’s so much to think about. On that note, here are four things to prepare when caring for a loved one.
1. Understand Their Needs
One huge challenge plaguing older adults and people with a disability is generalizations. It’s good to read articles relating to your loved one’s condition. However, it’s important to note that two people living with the same condition will still have different symptoms. So, understanding your loved one’s condition from their perspective can help inform your caregiving efforts and strategies.
You can consult their doctors and ask them for recent medical reports. Luckily, experts have developed tools and quick tips to help deconstruct specific conditions. For instance, you can take this Alzheimer’s disease quiz, which will help you test your current knowledge about the disease and identify where you fall short.
2. Improve Home Safety
In most countries, falls are a public health concern, and workplace accidents through falls claim numerous lives each year. However, falls are still a mainstay in our homes. Older adults are the most vulnerable when it comes to domestic settings and in many cases, these falls can result in fatalities.
Several factors account for these falls; the most popular include spine and joint issues, making physical movement unstable and imbalanced for older adults. However, poorly lit spaces and haphazardly placed items can worsen things. It’s best to rid your loved one’s home of anything that could trigger them to fall.
3. Medication Tool kit
One of the most important things to wrap your head around when caring for your loved one is their medications. The person you’re caring for needs to take their meds regularly, or their conditions can worsen. Apart from taking their meds on time, administering the wrong meds can worsen things.
Therefore, it’s important for caregivers to be attentive when dealing with the medications of their loved ones. First, have a medication toolkit so you can find every drug in one place. Keep prescriptions on each drug and make sure you keep tabs on their pharmacists, ensuring you never run out of meds.
4. Plan For Emergencies
Caring for your loved one might demand your undivided attention, which can be draining. If you’re realistic with yourself, you’ll realize you cannot shoulder it all. It’s crucial to have friends and other like-minded people who are willing to step in for you when you’re unavailable. Note that these people might be unfamiliar with caregiving. Making things simple for them by listing out the tasks to perform, errands to run, and appointments to commit to will always be time well spent.
Generally, it’s a noble thing to care for your loved ones. However, keeping on top of their needs and your own life can be challenging. Using this checklist should make things a little more manageable.