As a caregiver, you’ll often spend a lot of time interacting with the healthcare professionals in your senior loved one’s life. Enhancing communication with healthcare experts can help you ensure your loved one’s needs are met.
No matter how well you think you can listen, you may find yourself forgetting the details of the doctor’s instructions a few weeks after your parent’s appointment. Taking notes as you talk to a healthcare professional can prevent issues such as wondering whether you’re supposed to give your parent one pill at 2 p.m. or two pills at 1 p.m. For many people, taking notes on their phones can be a quick and easy way of keeping track of doctors’ instructions. However, you can also bring a notepad and pen with you if you find that simpler.
Keep Track of Your Loved One’s Symptoms
You have the essential role of keeping track of your loved one’s health when he or she isn’t in the doctor’s office. When interacting with healthcare professionals, you can advocate for your parent and make sure the medical providers fully address your loved one’s needs. Try to bring up even seemingly minor issues, such as your loved one urinating more frequently than usual. Small issues can be symptoms of major medical conditions.
Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Create a Folder with All Necessary Information
By the time people are in their senior years, they’ve most likely accumulated lengthy medical histories. Each time you visit a new doctor, it can be challenging to recall all the major medical procedures your loved one has had and all the medications he or she takes. Therefore, it can be helpful to create a folder that highlights key information. Make sure it contains information about your loved one’s primary care physician, medication regimen, any diagnoses, and any surgeries or other major procedures. This will help you quickly provide relevant information even if you’re rattled during a major emergency.
Caring for a senior loved one can be difficult, but compassionate help is just a phone call away. In Victoria, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
When interacting with healthcare professionals, never be afraid to speak up when you don’t know something. Many caregivers worry about appearing uneducated, but part of a healthcare professional’s job is to educate. Ask the doctor for clarification if he or she uses a word you don’t understand, and request a demonstration if you’re going to have to perform a task such as doing finger prick tests for diabetes. Healthcare professionals can give you valuable information that helps you better care for your loved one.
Build a Strong Relationship with Healthcare Professionals
You may find it easier to fully manage your loved one’s health when his or her medical providers know who you are. At the first appointment, introduce yourself as your loved one’s caregiver instead of just sitting quietly while they talk. Be friendly and courteous, and if the doctor seems chatty, take part in small talk. Developing a relationship with professionals will make it easier to communicate with them.
Your loved one’s medical team can offer sound advice on whether your parent can benefit from professional home care. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Victoria in-home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. If you need professional at-home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (250) 592-4881.