What To Go Over With Your New Caregiver
If you have an elderly loved one who needs in-home senior care, once you’ve found the right match for your loved one, it’s important to make sure you cover all the bases with the caregiver who will be taking care of your loved one. Whether your loved one only needs help with simple tasks, like meal preparation, cleaning, and running errands, or needs medical assistance, like daily shots or medication, there are important things to discuss in order to be sure they know how best to care for your loved one.
When creating an instructional guide for the caregiver who will be caring for your loved one, here are 10 things to consider:
- Medications : List any medications that your loved one needs to take, and include amounts, frequency, and time of day they should be taken or are usually taken. Also explain how your loved one prefers to take their medication, such as with juice or milk versus just water.
- Food & Drink : List any likes or dislikes with food or drink as well as any allergies. Explain any specific eating or drinking habits, like if your loved one enjoys a cup of tea at a certain time every day, or if they like a certain meal on Sundays, ect…
- Cooking & Cleaning : Explain whether your loved one needs assistance with cooking or cleaning, or if they should be encouraged to do these tasks themselves with supervision. Also discuss whether they will need assistance with eating, if they need their food cut into small pieces, cooled down, or need to be hand-fed. Discuss any regular cleaning that your loved one needs help with, such as straightening their bed, doing laundry, or washing dishes.
- Napping & Sleep Habits : Jot down the typical hours that your loved one goes to sleep, gets up, and any naps in between that they enjoy. Also make note of any sleep preferences, such as having a light on, having music or the TV playing.
- Bathroom Needs & Habits : List any special requests or needs for the use of the bathroom, whether they’re able to do this themselves, or if they need assistance with bathing or other bathroom functions.
- Temperature : Make note of preferred thermostat temperature and any changes needed during certain hours of the day. Will your loved one need a blanket to stay warm, or do they enjoy keeping windows open and will this result in specific needs to stay warm or cool?
- In-Home Activities : Describe what your loved one enjoys doing during the day and explain any specific schedule. If they enjoy watching a specific TV show, make note of the times and days that the show is on. Do they enjoy reading, playing card games, listing to music, or reading the newspaper?
- Exercise & Going Out : List any preferential outdoor activities or outings that your loved one enjoys, such as walks, local YMCA, the movies, or perhaps the mall. Make note of anything that your loved one may need assistance with when going out, such as remembering to take their cane or walker, putting on sunscreen, taking allergy medication, or remembering their jacket.
- Friends & Social Contacts : Does your loved one have frequent or occasional, unannounced visitors from friends or neighbors? Also list any friends or family that the caregiver could contact if your loved one needs some company or is feeling lonely. Does your loved one have a friend they like to call and talk to occasionally? List their contact information.
- Emergency Contacts : This should be a given, but is extremely important. Be sure to list any family and friends, as well as the contact information for your loved one’s doctor. Include phone numbers, office location, and of course their names. You should also provide your contact information to the caregiver as well.
Many of these things may seem very self-explanatory, but having a list of things to consider can help ensure that you don’t forget any necessary information. This is especially important if you are not living with or close by your elderly loved one, or if you are hard to reach. Relying on your elderly loved one to provide the caregiver with this information is unreliable, and the information could be miscommunicated or assumed.
Need a senior caregiver? Contact Home Matters for friendly help.