Older adults often have more than one health issue that requires treatment, and many of these are ongoing. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis are just a few health conditions that often occur simultaneously. While keeping up with several health issues does present a few challenges, you can use these tips to make it easier to provide care for your senior loved one.
1. Consider Preferences
Seniors have to want to manage their own health, and having treatment plans that align with their goals makes it more likely that they’ll follow their physicians’ recommendations. Today, there are several choices seniors and their caregivers can make regarding how to treat health conditions. For instance, a senior with diabetes may choose to control it with a medication pump or pills. If the diabetes is mild, your loved one may be able to control blood glucose levels through diet and exercise alone. Talk to your loved one about how he or she prefers to manage his or her care, and be prepared to advocate for him or her at medical appointments.
For some families, caring for a loved one can be overwhelming at times. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Wellesley, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
2. Organize Medications
Living with multiple health conditions usually means having more prescriptions to keep up with. Create a medication station in the house where your loved one can easily keep track of all of his or her medicine. You can even appoint a caregiver to check on how well your loved one is managing the medications and provide reminders when he or she needs to take a dose.
3. Ask the Physician about Benefits & Risks
Your loved one may need to make serious choices about how he or she manages multiple health conditions. For instance, he or she may be prescribed a medication that’s beneficial for one health condition but causes problems for another. When your loved one needs a change in his or her treatment plan, make sure to ask the doctor about the potential benefits and risks. This way, you can help your loved one make the best decisions to feel healthy.
4. Track Changes with New Treatments
If possible, your loved one should try to only change one thing at a time in his or her treatment plan. This tactic allows you to better track any changes that occur. For example, it’s easier to determine if a side effect results from a specific prescription if it’s the only new one your loved one is taking. You should also track positive changes. Being able to tell the physician that a therapeutic exercise plan is leading to better weight management and reduced pain helps the doctor know how to proceed with your loved one’s care.
If your loved one needs help following his or her prescribed treatment plan, consider enlisting the help of a professional caregiver. When considering in-home care, Wellesley, Massachusetts, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
5. Seek Support
Caring for a loved one with multiple health conditions can be challenging. At times, you may be worried about how you’ll get your loved one to medical appointments, or the thought of giving him or her the wrong medicine could keep you up at night. Seek support from other family members and professional caregivers so you always have a way to make sure your loved one gets the help he or she needs.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (781) 239-0060 to learn more about our customized care plans