Of all the many responsibilities a family caregiver encounters, possibly one of the more overwhelming is managing senior health issues. The National Council on Aging reports that nearly three-quarters of all seniors are diagnosed with a minimum of two chronic conditions, and are seeing on average four healthcare experts.
As your aging parent’s advocate, it’s crucial to know how to communicate effectively with those on the senior’s medical team, and also to arrive at appointments thoroughly ready to address any and all issues. The following four questions are a good starting point:
- Are all of the prescription drugs necessary? With most older adults taking numerous medications, you’ll need to keep a detailed list and review it occasionally with the doctor and also the pharmacist, each of whom will be able to make sure there are not any duplications prescribed by different specialists, or any contraindications between meds.
- If prescribing something new, what side effects might we be prepared to see? Weighing the advantages vs. the potential health risks for any new medication is vital, as there may be occasions when difficult side effects surpass any advantages available. And if the doctor offers a blanket statement such as, “Most patients don’t encounter any complications with this prescription,” make sure to follow up to find out more about individuals who DO encounter problems.
- What is the simplest way to reduce pain and discomfort? We are all mindful of the opioid epidemic, and also the risk of addiction along with other problems which come with taking prescription pain medications. However, unaddressed pain can lead to both delayed healing and considerable emotional stress, both for the senior experiencing pain along with his or her caregivers.
- If this was your dad, what would you do? Inviting the doctor to step into your shoes is actually an incredibly helpful way to gauge the manner in which you may want to proceed. There may be less invasive or aggressive methods to managing a problem that you may wish to check out first.
For additional tips on ensuring a loved one obtains the best possible care, get in touch with the home care experts at Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, top providers of in-home caregivers Portage and other Michigan communities depend on. For a full list of the communities we serve, please visit our Locations page. We are available to help through:
- Accompanying seniors to healthcare appointments and procedures and making certain concerns are answered
- Ensuring medications are taken exactly as prescribed
- Proactively watching for any changes in condition, such as medication side effects, and reporting them right away
- Preparing wholesome meals and providing encouragement to stay physically active to enhance health
- And so much more
To get started on a better quality of life for an older adult, simply contact us at (269) 763-5350 in Paw Paw, (269) 849-9252 in St. Joseph, (269) 373-5444 in Kalamazoo or (269) 963-9888 in Battle Creek.