New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors and Caregivers
As a new year begins, it is a time for seniors and caregivers alike to reflect on the past year and set themselves up for greater success in the months ahead. One major task is re-evaluating healthcare needs and ensuring that the right services and supports are in place. Here are a few tips to get the new year started off on the right foot:
- Schedule annual medical appointments.
Seniors should undergo an annual wellness exam to keep up with their health and be proactive in identifying potential problems. If your loved one has been experiencing any new symptoms or changes in their health, make sure to have them evaluated. Schedule any preventive screenings, follow-up care, or specialist appointments they may need as well. Be sure to call well in advance as some office schedules fill up quickly.
- Re-evaluate medications.
Make sure your loved one is still taking the appropriate medications in the correct dosages. As they get older or their condition changes, their prescription may need to be adjusted. Review why they are taking each medication as well to ensure that it is still necessary and there are no overlaps with other drugs. If they have prescriptions from multiple providers, it is essential that everyone is communicating and working in your loved one’s best interest.
- Create an updated emergency contact plan.
Emergencies can happen at any time and often come with little warning. When was the last time you reviewed your aging parent’s emergency contact plan? If they need to evacuate, who will be there to assist them and where will they go? Choose one person as the primary contact who will update the rest of the family and can be trusted to make sound decisions even in high-pressure situations.
Put all of your loved one’s important documents such as their birth certificate, social security card, insurance documents, healthcare information, power of attorney, and advanced directives in a fireproof, waterproof lockbox for safekeeping and easy access. If they are forced to leave their home, have a list of what they will take with them.
Update everyone’s contact information so that is current, and get together to discuss the emergency plans so that everyone is on the same page and can respond accordingly.
- Review Care Needs
Take the time to talk to your loved one, observe them at home, and determine if additional support is necessary. If they can function fairly well independently but could benefit from help with select activities or during certain times of the day, non-medical in-home care may be beneficial. You can work with a caregiver to decide what services they receive and when. This can reduce some of the pressure on both seniors and families.
If they are already receiving in-home care, review their care plan to see if any changes need to be made to better fit their current situation. Talk with their caregiver to gather their input and insight as well. By working together, you can ensure that your aging parent’s needs are being met and enhance their quality of life.
Contact Always Best Care to schedule a free consultation and find out how your loved one could benefit from non-medical in-home care this year.