When caring for a spouse, relative, or parent, you may face a number of challenges and decisions to make in order to provide quality care. However, you are not alone. The following resources are available to support you to meet the ever-changing needs of your loved one:
• Retain a lawyer to answer questions and prepare legal documents, such as wills and advance directives, to help your loved one identify and express his or her wishes for the future.
• Consider a medical alert bracelet, which provides vital medical information to emergency responders about medical conditions, allergies, medications, and dosages, and help healthcare providers to deliver faster, safer treatment. Also, look into a 24-hour emergency response service, which would notify emergency responders and others in an emergency.
• Explore options for durable medical equipment, such as shower chairs and grab bars, which promote and maintain independence. Adaptive equipment is also available for bathing, personal care, cooking, and other activities of daily living. Be sure to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure safety and proper use.
• Research adult day health centers in your area. A quality program can provide social stimulation and physical activity in a supervised group setting for your loved one, while also offering some respite for you to relax, recharge, or meet other obligations.
• Check with your local senior center or Area Agency on Aging to find out about home-delivered meals, such as the “Meals on Wheels” Federal program. Home-delivered meals help provide balanced meals on days when you are unable to assist.
• Hire housekeeping help for heavy-duty cleaning on a biweekly or monthly basis.
• If your loved one wanders due to Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, look into personal wandering alarms, or home or door alarms as a safety measure. For more information, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website at www.alz.org.
• Consult a qualified insurance professional about long term care insurance to help cover the costs associated with extended care. This type of insurance may increase options for future care and help preserve family assets.
There are available resources to help you care for your loved one, promote his or her safety and independence, and also provide respite for your own emotional and physical well-being.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
This article was prepared by Liberty Publishing, Inc.
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