We live in a mobile society and that means that adult children are not always going to live in close proximity to aging parents. That makes it difficult to make sure their daily needs are being met, especially if illness or chronic disease strikes. It is possible to put together a care package from a distance that will provide all that’s needed for your loved one and give you some peace of mind. Here are some tips on how to put together a reliable team that will serve the best interests of the person you love.
1. Ask your loved one what would be most helpful
- What do they need daily?
- What tasks are difficult for them?
- Do they have regular weekly or monthly appointments – hair, doctor etc. that they need transportation to and from?
2. Talk to their doctor
- If your loved one is willing to give you permission to speak to their GP, ask them to update you about your loved one’s health. You should also discuss this with your loved one, but often they will hide information about their health condition for fear of losing their independence. You need to know exactly what the health impairments are in order to address them appropriately.
- If you do not have permission the doctor wont be able to discuss private medical information with you. However, he or she may be willing to suggest the types of support that think will be most helpful.
3. Talk to friends, family members and neighbours of your loved one
- Can a schedule of support and help be created?
- Can a neighbour put out the bins or walk your loved one’s dog?
- Can someone who lives close by take your loved one grocery shopping?
- Can neighbours or family members check in on your loved one regularly, especially during extreme hot and cold weather?
- Make sure everyone has all your phone numbers, your e-mail and other contact information.
4. Rely on local resources
There are many organizations that provide support for older people in the community. You can find local ones in your loved one’s area by checking online:
- http://www.whentheygetolder.co.uk – you may find useful and helpful information on this website too
Home Care providers can also be a great resource to rely on. Registered, professional home carers can take care of your loved one and keep you updated on their condition. One of the best ways to look for a local provider is to visit CQC website and search under services in your home, put in the postcode of your loved one and the site will list all local providers. The Care Quality Commission regulates and inspects home care and details of any inspections carried out on those providers will be available for you to read online.
Contact the providers to find out whether they would be able to offer the services you need. Most providers will be happy to arrange to visit your and your loved one to find out exactly what assistance they would like, these assessments are normally free of charge and without any obligation. Home care can be a flexible way to meet changing needs and visits will usually range from as little as half an hour, to full time care. Whether you need a visit once a day to pick up shopping or change the beds, or 4 times a day to help with personal care and medication, this can all be arranged to suit you and your loved one.
5. Keep detailed records
- Create a folder in which you can keep notes, medical records, insurance information, calendars and even printed copies of emails. This will be a great help to you as the care of your loved one becomes more complex
- Include contact information for all doctors, nurses, care managers and specialists, like physio therapists who are involved in the care and treatment of your loved one
- Make copies for all those involved in the support and keep the records updated
Feel free to contact us on 01420 85202 to find out how we can help.