Despite chronic disease trends on the rise, life expectancy has shown progressive increases over the last 20 years. These indicators have forced individuals to plan for receiving care for extended periods of time. This has resulted in the rise of aging in place, receiving health care in the home to save costs. Increased pressure on family members to act as part-time or even full-time caregivers is often the result.
Caregiving can be an extremely stressful and physically demanding job, yet still be a gift as your loved one avoids the distractions and inconveniences of long-term care institutions. As you prepare yourself to care for your loved one in the home, consider these secrets to caregiving success.
- Be knowledgeable about your loved one’s illnesses. Coordinating care can be difficult if you have trouble understanding or describing symptoms or changes in your loved one’s health. Caregivers represent the “eyes” of the doctor and the “voice” of the patient.
- Don’t face your challenges alone, find support. Family members, friends, neighbors, home health care providers or part-time aides may be available to help. Many resources and support groups are available on the web and even in your own community, whether it be a church, non-profit organization or a service of your insurance or health care provider.
- Have a backup. Find at least one other person able to provide care should you become ill or injured. Keep them up to date on health issues. A daily or weekly journal or email might be an easy way to keep them informed.
- Speak up and ask for help and accept help when offered. Take time to take care of yourself too. Caregivers have higher stress levels, risk of depression and chances of developing health problems themselves.
- Seek legal and financial help to ensure your loved one’s needs are and will be met in the future. Keep all of your legal and health documents safe and accessible to anyone else who may provide care.
- Make your home barrier free and safe to navigate. A home audit can show you ways to make you home safe through rearranging furniture to actual home modifications. Removing fall risks, creating wider spaces between furniture, moving your master bedroom to the first floor, installing medical equipment and potentially meeting ADA standards in the kitchen or bath may be some of the ways to make your home safer and more accessible.
Traxx Mobility Systems manufactures and sells the Titan 500, an rechargeable electric overhead patient lift for home care. Our lift system allows a single caregiver to effortlessly transfer a patient, weighing up to 500 pounds, from bed to chair and back again. The Titan 500 is a complete lift package which includes a freestanding aluminum frame, a lift motor with rechargeable batteries, a lift bar, one sling and an easy to use remote control. The safe and secure system is simple to set-up and it’s durable, dependable and Made in the USA!