For those with chronic health conditions, having loved ones on hand often makes all the difference, and this is especially true when it comes to dementia. While there is no cure for the condition, there are several ways that loved ones can lend support and alleviate many of the worst symptoms – here are a few to consider.
The first and most practical way to help a loved one with a health condition is to assist them with transportation to and from doctor appointments. As a condition progresses, it may become more difficult for the person to drive or navigate public transport. You can ease this issue by taking them to their appointments yourself or arranging for a ride-sharing service/chauffeur through their healthcare provider.
Home modifications are essential for many people with health conditions as it makes navigating the property safer and easier. This can include installing handrails in the bathroom, removing tripping hazards, and placing easily identifiable labels on items such as doors and drawers. You can also consider setting up a home security system to provide extra peace of mind.
Insurance & Paperwork
Helping your loved one manage their health insurance and financial affairs can be a huge benefit to them, especially if they aren’t able to themselves. You can assist with the completion of insurance forms, paying bills, and managing their budget. You may also want to consider setting up a power of attorney, which allows you to make financial and legal decisions on their behalf.
If your loved one still wants to work and is able to do so, it may be worth helping them to design a stress-free home office. This can include storage systems for digital/paper records, ample lighting, and furniture that facilitates their movement around the room.
When we spend so much of our time tending to a loved one, it’s important to remember to self-care. The caregiver role can be physically and emotionally demanding, and it’s important to make time for your own well-being. This can include taking breaks, finding time to engage in activities that you enjoy, and seeking support from friends, family, and mental health professionals whenever necessary.
Adding to this, many carers of loved ones opt for in-home care or respite care services to provide additional support and ease their own burden. In-home care can be tailored to the specific needs of the individual and can include assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. Alternatively, respite care is a form of temporary care that provides relief for the primary caregiver, allowing them to take a break and recharge.
For carers who want to go the extra mile, it is now possible to earn a nursing bachelor’s degree with an RN to BSN online degree. Online degree programs can be completed remotely, meaning you can fit your studies around full-time work or other family obligations. When looking for an online school, be sure to first check that they are properly accredited and that they offer competitive tuition rates. You could also train to become a CNA, Certified Nursing Assistant or take classes at a local organization to build your skills and knowledge.
Whatever condition your loved one is currently experiencing, it’s important to plan your approach. With patience, understanding, and a willingness to adapt, you can provide the necessary support and care for them diligently and compassionately.
This article is compliments of Philliip Carr of Your Yearly Checkup. You can find his website and contact information at https://youryearlycheckup.com
You will find my book Parkinson’s: A Love Story with Dementia for Dessert on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Parkinsons-Love-Story-Dementia-Dessert-ebook/dp/B07K4RLC2D/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542135434&sr=8-1&keywords=Parkinson%27s+A+Love+Story+with+Dementia+for+Dessert&dpID=41xS3edPH0L&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch Your feedback and reviews are most welcome.
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