Do you have a family member or friend who may need help? Are you struggling with the decision to hire a caregiver or perhaps give of your time to help? Whether caring for someone now or considering a hired caregiver, here are important questions to consider. Even if you are already the primary caregiver, it is very important for you to take time to assess needs; they change periodically.
Here are 5 areas to evaluate to determine current needs; especially to identify long-term caregiving issues you may face.
#1 Are there signs of dementia or Alzheimers? Can the person make or receive calls without aide? When left alone, will they make safe decisions if a stranger comes to the door? These issues will certainly help determine whether long-term or short-term care is needed.
#2 Will this person consistently take medicines at the proper time? If so, is someone available to fix them at the beginning of the week? You cannot simply depend upon what you are told, watch for daily behavioral changes, check their medicines when possible.
#3 What about the nutrition needs of the individual? Can they cook meals; will they eat at the appropriate times? Could Meals on Wheels be an alternative or is an in-home caregiver needed during the daytime? Does someone simply need to clean the refrigerator once a week and put in fresh foods?
#4 Are there signs of hygiene needs when you visit? Can the person take care of bathing and other personal needs or does someone need to assist? Has their mobility declined in such a way that falling may be an issue.
#5 Probably the most obvious and most often overlooked is the question of how much time is needed to meet the needs. Be sure to carefully consider this issue before hiring someone or before you commit to help. Even small tasks that require daily attention can be overwhelming after awhile. Do you have time? Do you have others to call upon for help?
I have found the simplest solutions can be overlooked in our busy-ness if we do not take time occasionally to re-evaluate our situation.
My book, MY MOTHER MY CHILD is filled with help and hope for those caring for others of all ages; autographed copies now available through this website.