AD | Chances are, we’re all going to experience caring for someone at home at some point in our lives. Whether that’s a parent, grandparent or elderly next-door neighbour, the nature of getting older means that some people may require more help who want to stay in their own homes.
And if caring for someone at home is completely new to you, it can certainly be a bit daunting and overwhelming at first. Before you settle into a routine, understand their needs and figure out what help and support they’re entitled to.
It can also be quite taxing on you, the carer. And whilst it’s their needs you’re looking after, you also need to focus on taking care of yourself too. My Mum has recently become a carer for my Granddad, who is being cared for at home. So all of this is very prevalent in my life at the moment.
So if this is something you know you’ll have to deal with soon or someone in your family is, then here are some things to consider when caring for someone at home:
Can you adapt their home for their present needs?
Sometimes peoples conditions and situations change so much that their home might not be entirely compatible with their needs anymore. Taking my Granddad as an example, he can’t get up stairs any more, so we’ve had to adapt his downstairs space for everything he needs.
So there may be new equipment you need to get or a bit of re-arranging that needs doing in order to make their home comfortable and livable for them. This is where you might need to look into alternative ways on how to get equipment, which can often be expensive, so it’s worth checking out articles like this one about how to get a stairlift for free.
Do you know what help and support you or they are entitled to?
Depending on the situation and the condition of the person, you might be entitled to more free help and support than you think you are. It’s always worth speaking to their personal doctor, who should be able to point you in the right direction in terms of support for the patient you’re caring for.
When my Granddad was released from hospital back in May, due to his condition and situation, the state provided everything he needed to adapt back into his own home. Such as a hospital bed, equipment, pressure cushions and more.
Are you able to care for them alone or do you need extra help?
And keeping on the topic of help and support, it’s worth taking stock of whether you’re able to care for them yourself. Or whether you as the carer, need extra help too. For a lot of conditions, you can get state funded carers. However it does depend on a variety of factors, including finance and savings.
Are all healthcare professionals aware of their condition and are they receiving the medical care they need?
Chances are, there may be a fair few medical professionals involved in the case. And it can be hard to keep track sometimes. If you have extra carers, make sure they’re all fully aware of the situation (as a lot of companies may send multiple carers, not necessarily the same 1 or 2 each time).
And is the patient receiving the appropriate medical checks from a district nurse or their doctor on a regular basis? As a carer, you’ll have a lot to think about so it’s also worth keeping a diary or notebook with their upcoming appointments and visits.
Is the patient happy with their carers?
Ultimately, the most important person in this case is the patient or the loved one you’re caring for. If you do have extra help involved, it’s vital to make sure that they are happy with the care they’re receiving and also to report anything to the company that you believe to be suspicious.
Have you ever cared for someone at home? What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to care for someone at home?
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