15 Tips on Providing In-Home Care

This post was recently featured on Ryan Malone’s blog, “Inside Elder Care” and written by Catherine Reeson, a certified medical assistant.  I’d like to share this valuable information with our readers:

“Providing in-home care to someone , especially a loved one can be a stressful and challenging experience.  Preparing ahead and considering these tips can help to make the transition into In-Home care less stressful and easier on you and the individual requiring care”.

  1. Impact on Person Needing Care – The individual needing care will need some time to adjust to the new arrangement.  They may have recently lost a loved one or they may have had an injury or major medical event that has prompted the change.  Any of these changes can cause stress, anxiety or even depression so it is best to give that person some time to adjust.  
  2. Impact on You – As you will be the one giving care, a significant amount of your time will be required.  You will need to consider if this is something you are willing to do and how it will affect your job and family life.  
  3. Impact on Your Family – It will be important for you to discuss your decision to provide in home care with your family.  The decision will directly impact them and your way of life.  Carefully consider everyone’s opinions and concerns prior to making a full commitment.  
  4. Staying on Top of Appointments – Once you start providing in home care, you will need to stay on top of appointments that will need to be kept such as going to the doctor, physical therapy, etc.  
  5. Questions to Ask the Doctor – The more care you provide, the more involved you will be with monitoring the daily activities of the individual.  You will want to ask specific questions of the doctor if you notice any concerning behavior or changes to the health or mental state of the patient.
  6. Medicines – Along with providing in home care, you will need to keep track of any medications when they need to be administered and any dangerous side effects or interactions with other drugs or specific foods. 
  7. Meals – Providing regular and nutritious meals will be a major part of your responsibilities and it will have a major impact on the health of the person requiring care.  
  8. Exercise/Physical Therapy – Depending on the mobility of the patient, you may need to ensure that they participate in some type of physical activity to keep them mobile.  This may also involve bringing them to the gym or to physical therapy appointments.  
  9. Keeping Minds Active – If the patient is limited in activity or confined in any way, it may be helpful to make sure they keep their mind active in addition to their body.  This can be done by providing them with reading materials or thought-provoking games or puzzles.  
  10. Eliminating Dangers in the Home – Keeping pathways clear and removing clutter can help to prevent any accidents or injuries to the patient.
  11. Making Adjustments to the Home – Consider if your home may require adjustments such as ramps, railings, stair lifts or larger access points into and out of the home.  You may also need to make changes to furniture and fixtures such as chairs, beds, or bathtubs.
  12. Additional Cost for Caring – The cost of providing care can be significant (especially while you continue to also work).  Consider if you need to reduce work hours and determine addition of other costs such as additional food, transportation, and potential renovations to your home.
  13. Liability Insurance – While most people provide in-home care to a loved one, you may want to consider adjusting any liability insurance on your home.  Any additions you make to your home may require additional coverage.
  14. Taking Care of Yourself – One thing that most caregivers neglect while they are providing care is themselves.  Make sure you are eating right, getting enough sleep, and getting a break from time to time as cared giving can be a demanding task even if you are helping a family member or loved one. 
  15. Knowing when to admit you need help – At some point providing in home care may become so overwhelming or even impossible that you may need to consider getting additional help or stopping in home care altogether.  Having an idea of what your options are under these circumstances will help to ease the transition especially if something changes with your loved one unexpectedly. 

Consider calling One-On-One Caregiver when you need extra help.  We are a Nurse Registry and we accept Long Term Care Insurance.  Whether or not you have LTC insurance we will work with you providing a complete assessment of your loved one’s needs.  We will match your loved one’s needs with just the right caregiver to support your efforts when you need down time.  We are conveniently located on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, Florida.  Just call our office at 561-865-5488 Monday – Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  You may also call us after-hours and will be happy to help provide assistance as your in-home needs increase.