Is it time to provide caregiving help for an aging or disabled loved? Maybe you’ve noticed that your mom or dad has begun to repeat the same stories or isn’t taking medication as prescribed. Maybe you have a grandparent who has a hard time dressing, shopping or cooking on their own.
Whatever your situation is, recognizing the signs that indicate your loved one needs caregiving help is the first step toward ensuring they will get the care needed to live as well as possible.
Increased agitation, verbally or physically abusive behaviors, and extreme mood swings can be signs that a person might have pain levels that need added attention. Or these actions could be a sign of memory loss.
A person may be depressed from having fewer friends or social activities. They might choose to limit interaction with others due to vision and hearing problems; exams for both will determine if either is an issue. Long-term isolation takes a toll on our health, increasing our risks for problems such as dementia, stroke, and heart disease.
Age- and health-related issues are key risk factors in a person’s ability to drive safely. Family members should consider putting the vehicle keys in a safe place until an evaluation takes place or a caregiver is hired.
Some forgetfulness is normal in our busy lives – we might forget a person’s name in the morning but will remember it later. When forgetfulness happens more often with serious consequences, memory loss could be the reason.
Studies show that older and chronically ill individuals take longer to recover from an illness or surgery. Family members should be alert to adverse outcomes such as continuing weight loss, muscle weakness, and decline in cognitive abilities.
Age and health conditions contribute to loss of stability and mobility. Recurring bruising could be a sign that someone has been falling, along with using furniture to help themselves move around the home and general difficulty getting in and out of a seated position.
Sometimes simple solutions work well, such as establishing a routine of when to take medications and using pill organizers. Not only is it dangerous to a person’s health to miss medications or completely stop taking using them, it could be a sign of a memory issue.
Healthy lifestyle behaviors go a long way toward our longevity. When someone stops eating well and keeping a clean house, cognitive issues may be the cause.
Not bathing regularly or dressing inappropriately could mean that someone is having physical difficulty with their strength or coordination, or it can be a sign of a problem such as memory loss.
Changes in sleep patterns, such as when lifelong early risers begin sleeping till noon, can be indications of medical issues such as depression, anxiety or cognitive decline.
At the heart of it, a caregiver is someone who assists others with daily living activities. Caregivers can be anyone from a trained healthcare professional to a friend or family member.
Caregivers are at the forefront of ensuring a patient or loved one receives the best medical care possible. Here are several things you can do to advocate for your patient during every healthcare appointment and have effective and productive conversations with their medical providers.
Caring for a loved one is a true labor of love. It is also physically and emotionally demanding. The risk of experiencing caregiver burnout is a real possibility and finding ways to care for yourself is the best way to combat it.
Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that occurs when caregivers neglect their own needs. Its characteristics include:
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