Caring for an older parent or parents can be challenging, and living far away from them can make things even more difficult. No family member would like to think of the worst that can happen to a senior loved one. However, you should have a plan in place if you are involved in caring for one or both aging parents. This way, you can deal with various emergencies should they arise.
When health problems become more apparent for your parents, they tend to lose independence and cannot do things for themselves. An emergency plan can include anything from what to do in a medical or environmental emergency to future care planning for old parents.
Making a plan to address all problems will help you understand what to do when faced with an emergency. Such an emergency plan will act as a road map for you and those involved in your aging parent’s life. You can follow this plan at the time of a crisis.
You may need to play an active role in taking care of your parents’ health as they grow older. Schedule a doctor appointment for them when you are in town and prepare your questions for the doctor.
Be respectful of your parents and resist talking over them during the appointment. Furthermore, you can ask the doctor to give you regular updates on your parents’ health through phone or email.
Despite being away from parents, phone conversations are a good way to stay connected with them. Computers and smartphones make video chats possible too. However, phone conversations may not be the best solution to truly knowing how a parent is doing.
One simple solution is to supplement calls with occasional visits. You can make these visits productive by having a list of things to accomplish. This list may include things like taking care of some chores around the house or taking your parents to the doctor.
If a parent needs more help with day-to-day activities, you can consider hiring a home care professional trained to care for senior adults. In-home caregivers and respite care professionals can provide regular help and also act as your eyes and ears to communicate with you regularly. They will also ensure that your aging parents stay safe while still maintaining their independence.
Taking steps to prepare for an emergency can put you at ease to ensure that your parents immediately get the necessary attention. You can do things like creating a contact list that will include numbers for you, along with friends, neighbors, family, and doctors. Make copies of the list for yourself, your parents as well as the caregiver. You can even set up your parents’ phone so that it can be used by them or the caregiver if at the time of serious emergency.
Another good idea would be to organize vital information. This should include an overview of medical history, any allergies, food allergies, a copy of the contact list, legal documents, advance directives, insurance information, etc. You can include this as a part of your loved one’s emergency travel kit for a hospital stay. Additionally, please discuss with your parents and doctor to zero in on which situations constitute an emergency, their possible indicators, and the course of action needed.
Respite care constitutes professional support services for a few hours that can help an aging individual who needs assistance for living for a few hours. It enables security and safety as well as retains the independence of the patient.
Home care can include companionship, help with daily activities like bathing, and more. Various types of home care and senior care services that serve different needs are available. However, they’re primarily focused on facilitating a more independent and happier living for the persons receiving care.
Despite opting for in-home or respite care services, It is always better to prepare an emergency care plan for your aging parents. This allows you to ensure that they get immediate attention. Share the plan with their caregivers as well to prepare them for an emergency.
See Also: Respite Care for Elderly
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