Finding a caregiver for a parent can present a laundry list of challenges. Perhaps you are suddenly faced with a crisis that requires you to find care for a parent that has become ill, taken a fall, or has become increasingly more confused or forgetful. Where do you begin to find care for a parent?
The first question to answer is what kind of help is needed? Do you need to locate services for short term services such as help following surgery or a rehab center? Or is your parent’s need more long term such as live-in home care following a stroke or Alzheimer’s? The very first step is to take a deep breath, relax, and make sure you take care of yourself. Without this, you can’t be an effective caregiver.
You may also find it useful to do a little research on senior care services available. Examples include seniors home health care, assisted living, adult daycare, or long term care. As co-workers, friends, and family, what are the best around? This will help you familiarize yourself with available services and allow your parents a range of options down the road.
Gathering information on these services is still useful, even if you are only dealing with a short-term crisis. Suppose your parents need services such as home health care or assisted living immediately. In that case, you may want to consider hiring a houston home healthcare caregiver. This is someone who is licensed and trained in the needs and services related to the senior population.
Regardless of the services your parent needs, you will need to have some general information to proceed. Examples of information needed include your parent’s date of birth, social security number, doctor(s) names and numbers, pharmacy name and number, access to or copies of insurance/medicare card(s), and benefits handbooks. Make a list of all medications your parent is taking, including dosage and frequency. Be sure to include not only prescription medications but over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin and vitamins. It’s also helpful to create and maintain a list of significant illnesses, medical conditions, and surgeries. Bring this info with you to all appointments.
Gather family members to discuss your parent’s needs. This meeting is an excellent opportunity for all family members to express their concerns and facilitate decision making. Be sure your parent’s doctors know who should be the designated contact person.
Find out if your parent has his or her legal documents in order. Has someone been designated to make health care decisions in case your parent is unable to? Has your parent expressed his/her desires for the end of life care? These may be difficult topics to broach but can save a great deal of heartache and family turmoil down the road. An elder law attorney can help you prepare these documents if they aren’t already done.
The bottom line advice becomes involved. Suppose you are interested in the affairs and care of a parent. In that case, you will feel better knowing you are the best caregiver possible because you have done your homework and can advocate with confidence. And don’t forget to take care of yourself!