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How To Start Caring for an Elderly Relative at Home

General Health

How To Start Caring for an Elderly Relative at Home

How To Start Caring for an Elderly Relative at Home

Assisted living is usually the first step in a senior’s long-term care plan. While care facilities exist, providing care at home is a cost-effective way to ensure your loved one’s comfort. However, living with an elderly relative can be challenging for the caregiver and family members.

Before taking on this responsibility, it’s essential to be well-prepared in the following ways.

1. Understand The Level of Care Needed: Activities Of Daily Living (ADLs)

These are essential tasks that support the older adult’s dignity, emotional, and physical well-being. Basic ADLs include:

  • Personal hygiene (shaving, grooming)
  • Self-feeding
  • Dressing
  • Mobility (moving in and out of bed or chairs)
  • Bathing
  • Toileting

If your loved one has limited mobility or can’t perform ADLs independently, be prepared to assist them. You can consider using Cavilon skin protector for an immobile relative to prevent incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD). This helps avoid frequent reapplications and offers better protection than traditional paste-based remedies.

2. Be Realistic About Your Capabilities

After identifying the ADLs your relative can manage alone, assess if you can help with the rest without external assistance. It’s important to acknowledge your limitations and communicate openly with your elderly relative about tasks you may struggle with. Consider what you can handle without compromising your well-being, relationships, or other responsibilities.

Overburdening yourself can lead to burnout and hinder your ability to provide care. Seeking support is crucial as caring for seniors is both challenging and rewarding.

3. Financial Considerations

Taking on the role of caring for an elderly relative at home has financial implications. Seniors residing in care facilities may receive additional financial aid from the government for living expenses. Check if your relative qualifies for any assistance programs, as they can help cover medical costs.

You might also need to assist your relative in managing their retirement funds and finances, which becomes part of your responsibility. As a caregiver, you could be eligible for tax benefits by deducting medical expenses or claiming your relative as a dependent.

Ensure your loved one gets support from various independent, state, or federal organizations that offer tax assistance to senior citizens during tax season.

4. Take Breaks When Necessary

In addition to seeking help with caregiving tasks, it’s vital to delegate responsibilities and take breaks periodically. While you may be doing a commendable job caring for your elderly relative, you won’t receive assistance unless you request it. Ask a spouse, sibling, friend, or another close relative to take over caregiving for a weekend or a day, allowing you time to relax, rejuvenate, and return refreshed.

Remember that requesting help from friends and family varies in each situation. Be open to various ways of seeking assistance and be flexible in sharing the caregiving load.

Featured Image by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

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