Providing care for an aging parent is one of the most fulfilling experiences. However, it can also be an overwhelming and stressful responsibility. Managing your caregiving duties along with your professional and personal life can lead to excessive stress. Consider the following life hacks to make your caregiving job easier.
1. Prepare an Emergency Medical Document
One of the hardest parts of being a family caregiver is keeping up with medications, doctors’ appointments, and your loved one’s health conditions. When facing a medical emergency, you will need to have your loved one’s health information on hand. Take some time to type all the information on a computer and print out several copies. Keep a copy in your loved one’s wallet or purse and provide copies for other family members who assist with caregiving. Make sure to email one copy to yourself so you can pull it up on your smartphone as needed.
If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care, Mississauga Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
2. Combine Tasks
If your loved one performs a particular task, there’s a chance you’re going to have to do the same thing within a certain period. Instead of doubling up, consider doing these tasks together. For example, if you take your loved one grocery shopping, grab an extra cart and shop for your household as well. If you take your loved one to exercise at a park or community center, do a few workouts yourself. When you’re cooking a meal for your loved one, cook enough for yourself or your family members.
If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Mississauga seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
3. Take Pictures of Replenishable Items
If you don’t have time to make notes or lists, use your smartphone to take photos of things you need to remember. For example, instead of making a grocery list, take a picture of your loved one’s fridge and pantry so you can see the items that need to be replenished. You can also take pictures of empty medicine bottles to remember the ones that need a refill.
4. Keep a Bag Packed for Outings
Pack a bag of necessities for your loved one. Fill the bag with some entertainment items, hygiene products, a change of clothes, some snacks, a bottle of water, and a page of medical information about your loved one. The bag may come in handy in case of emergency situations.
5. Create a Caregiving Spreadsheet
If you share caregiving duties with other friends and family members, keep a central spreadsheet with notes about your loved one’s schedule. Use a program like Google Docs that allows everyone to access vital information from their mobile devices. You can include notes about medications, meals, appointments, changes in health, and anything else that would be beneficial.
6. Stay Clean
If your loved one requires help with hygiene, keep rubber gloves on-hand. However, if you run out and have an emergency, you can always put sandwich bags or plastic grocery bags on your hands. If you’re using gloves for heavy-duty tasks, put on two or three layers at once. In the event the top layer becomes soiled quickly, you can save time by using the next layer to complete the task.
7. Print Out IDs
If you take your loved one out in public often, make sure he or she has identification at all times in case you become separated. While your loved one may not be able to keep an ID card, a sticker that attaches to the skin or clothing can help. Use mailing labels to print out these stickers. Alternatively, you can print the info out on an index card or sheet of paper and place it around your loved one’s neck with a lanyard.
Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Mississauga senior care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your elderly parent, give us a call at (905) 337-1200 today.