National Promise to Care Day was created by an urgent care provider to encourage people within communities to stop and look at the importance of caring for each other. While the message started with its workers, there’s a lot to be said about making a promise to care for each other. Sit down with your mom and talk about her goals and current care needs.
Make Sure You Know Her Wishes
Do you know if your mom has financial or medical powers of attorney? Has she designated an agent to make decisions for her if she’s unable to? This is important to know. It’s equally important to know if she has advance directives or a living will.
Advance directives are essential if something happens and she needs medical treatments like feeding tubes or ventilators to keep her alive. She may not want that after a certain age or in certain situations. Find out if she has a DNR order in place so that you can make sure medical professionals abide by her wishes.
How Her Needs May Change
Your mom doesn’t want to downsize, but she may reach a point where her home is too much. Instead of talking her into moving, look into senior home care services. Your mom can live comfortably on her home’s main level, but her caregivers can keep track of cleaning tasks that involve going to a basement or upstairs laundry room.
Your mom may have to stop driving. She doesn’t have to stop going out. She can let others handle the driving. If she has an appointment, her caregiver can drive her. Her caregiver can take her shopping or accompany her while she runs errands.
Does She Have Health Issues That May Limit Her Independence?
Older adults are more likely to have at least one health issue. The most common chronic health conditions are arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. If your mom does have any health issues, make sure you’re aware of her treatment plan.
She may be taking medications or have a special diet. If your mom has to take medications, you should know when she takes them and what the side effects are. Dizziness and sleepiness are important to know as they increase her fall risk.
A special diet is also something to keep in mind. If you take her shopping, you can help her avoid foods that are not recommended for her health condition. For example, she has diabetes and really wants a bag of chocolate chip cookies. They’re not a healthy option, but you could get the ingredients needed to make a healthier version, such as whole wheat or oat flour, bananas, and stevia-sweetened chocolate chips.
As your mom’s health shifts and her needs for care increase, support her with senior home care services. She has assistance with household chores and companionship services from a senior home care aide, and you enjoy the knowledge that she’s not having to struggle to get things done.