You’ve made the decision to provide your dad’s care. He lives alone and finds it harder to cook his meals, walk up and down the stairs, and drive.
If you’re joining the millions who do provide home care to a parent, take time to think about what will make that care easier. Here are several items family caregivers find helpful when caring for an aging parent.
#1 – A Home Care App
From time to time, you need to take time away from home care duties. You’ll need time off to see a child or grandchild’s performance. You need to go to the doctor or dentist for an exam. You’ll need other caregivers to take over while you take a break.
With a home care app, anyone who helps provide care knows exactly what has and hasn’t been done. You can use it to track when you’ve reminded your dad to take his medications. You can use it to plan menus, track appointments, and create shopping lists. It’s also a good way to keep family members who live out of town updated as to your dad’s health and activities.
#2 – Blood Pressure Monitor
You can drive your dad to a store or doctor’s office to have his blood pressure checked, but you can buy monitors for home use. If your dad’s blood pressure is high or borderline, regular readings in a calm environment will give an accurate picture. Record the readings and share them with your dad’s doctor at the next appointment.
#3 – Pulse Oximeter
While tracking blood pressure, you’ll also want to track a daily pulse. You can get a pulse oximeter that not only captures the pulse but also gets oxygen levels. These are essential if your dad has lung or heart disease.
#4 – Medical Print Out
Keep a print out of your dad’s medical information. If paramedics come and you’re not there, they’ll look for this on the fridge usually. It should include his name, age, and medical conditions. If he’s on prescription medications or takes over-the-counter medications or supplements, list those, too.
You should also list past surgeries and if he has pins or metal plates in place after breaking a bone. Finally, list the names and contact information for any caregivers.
When you’re providing care, you need to also care for yourself. Don’t take on too much. If you need a break, a home care agency can set you up with respite care or arrange to have a caregiver help you with some of the more difficult caregiving tasks like toileting and showering. One call can get you started.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Lawrenceville, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.