Family caregivers take on the bulk of their senior loved ones’ care, and it’s easy to overlook just how much this role entails. While every family caregiver’s job is different, there are certain duties that tend to be handled by family caregivers. These are just a few of the main duties you can expect to take on as a new family caregiver.
Creating and Updating the Care Plan
Your first step is to prepare a care plan for your loved one that details all of his or her care needs along with how each one is managed. This care plan gives you an idea of what your real duties will entail each day. You’ll also need to update the care plan occasionally as your loved one has new needs arise.
Ensuring the Safety of the Home Environment
Caregivers are always watching for potential safety threats, such as an upturned corner of a rug that could cause a fall. When you first begin caregiving, it’s best to do a safety assessment of the entire home. Then continue to monitor the environment for changes that require repairs, such as a loose handrail on a staircase.
Helping with Housekeeping and Meal Preparation
Seniors who require care usually need help with tasks such as grocery shopping, cooking, and housekeeping. Keep in mind this also tends to involve deep-cleaning tasks such as clearing out the pantry on a regular basis and scrubbing the bathroom tiles. Many caregivers find it easier to share meals with their loved ones so they don’t have to prepare two separate meals. You can also have professional caregivers who provide La Mesa home care manage one or more of these tasks so you’re not overwhelmed.
Medication management is another task family caregivers often choose to delegate to a professional, since a minor mistake could end up causing a major health issue. Medication monitoring can also be done using a log your loved one or another caregiver fills out whenever a pill is taken. With a proper system in place, you can ease your worries about mishaps and have a record to show your loved one’s physician if needed.
Watching for New Health Symptoms
Seniors may not always notice new health symptoms that require a medical examination. However, you may notice if your loved one suddenly slurs his or her speech or seems unusually shaky. During your days together, you can also watch for signs of new challenges. Seeing your loved one unable to hold a toothbrush or remember to turn off the stove are signs he or she needs an updated care plan.
Your role as a family caregiver also means you’re one of the primary sources of companionship for your loved one. While this is a great chance to bond and enjoy activities together, you also need to remember this can get draining when you’re the only source of support. Make sure to provide other companions who can give you a brief break and brighten up your loved one’s day.
It’s also a good idea to consider hiring a professional caregiver who provides respite care. La Mesa family caregivers who need assistance with caring for their senior loved ones rely on Coast Care Partners for relief when they need time away from their caregiving duties to attend to personal business or take a well-deserved break. Give us a call today at 619-354-2544.