Friday, July 31, 2015

Creating a Plan for Aging Loved Ones

©Crystal S. Kauffman


Families should be the first choice in caring for an aging loved one, since the loved one will recuperate better in familiar surroundings. The entire family should be given a voice, on whether he or she will become a full-time caregiver. However, a reality is that some families are unable or unfit, so the hospital would be the proper choice in these circumstances. If a family is willing to care for their loved one, the aging member actually benefits for the closeness of the family unit.

Create a Plan

First, the entire family should discuss their aging loved ones health care and make a plan, which can be instituted once it is needed. One family member may become the full time caregiver, while other family members come by and help as needed. This will give the full time caregiver a break, as well as peace of mind knowing their loved one is safe while they run errands. The entire family will transition into their new roles, by discussing and creating the plan before the emergency.

Thinking about Pets

Most aging loved ones have pets, which cannot be brought to the nursing home with him or her. Instead, he or she can keep the beloved pet at home or even at a relative’s home, instead of having to give away another piece of his or her life. Sometimes, the relative may have a pet that he or she can become attached to as well. Fortunately, pets can help keep him or her from becoming depressed with the new circumstances that they are faced with.

Teenagers and Small Children

Be sure to let teenagers and small children help out in different ways like reading a book to singing with their loved one. In addition, the child can take him or her for a walk or help clean up the room as needed. Children are usually welcomed by the aging loved one, since children make them laugh and given them someone to chat with. Sometimes, they may not be in the mood to deal with a small child, so families should judge her or her mood first.  

Choosing a Nursing Home

Not all families can provide around-the-clock care for an aging loved one and this may put the loved ones life at risk. Unfortunately, there are also family members who are unfit to care for an aging loved one. In these situations, the family will need to find a good nursing home that will care for his or her aging loved one in the proper way. They should investigate and ask other patients about the facility or its nurses, as well as visit often to detour any possible abuse.

In conclusion, a family should be given the option of caring for their aging loved one, before a nursing home is consulted. The entire family should develop a plan before their loved one gets ill, in order to take the stress out of this transition and role reversal. Additionally, pets and children can help an aging loved one, by keeping them from get depressed and by also keeping them moving. However, if a nursing home is chosen, the family should make sure it is an abuse-free facility by investigating it before their loved one moves in.   

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