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4 Tips When You are Caring for a Sick Parent in Your Home

senior woman sitting on couch talking with a female caregiver

Courtesy of Anica Oaks

Many families choose to take care of an ailing parent rather than relocate the loved one to a nursing home or senior residential facility. However, caring for a chronically ill parent requires effective preparation to keep your loved one safe and healthy. You also don’t want to strain the family’s time and energy. Here are tips for providing quality care for an ill parent living in your household.

Work Closely with the Medical Team

A seriously ill person will likely require attention from a team of medical experts who will monitor the senior’s condition and update treatment as needed. The family should participate in the communications between the medical experts and the parents. Staying connected with the medical providers and health care workers will ensure consistent care for a loved one with accurate instructions and prompt responses. Knowing that they can ask questions or get assistance anytime will be a relief to the caregivers.

Utilize Medical Grade Supplies and Equipment

Don’t use stopgap measures to care for a sick person in your home. Talk to the medical team about specific needs of your loved one, such as lung suctioning equipment or a 1050lb capacity bed frame, for example. Trying to make do instead of using the recommended items may have a negative impact on a loved one’s condition. Insurance may cover the total or partial cost of critical equipment.

Establish a Daily Routine

If you have a busy family life, organize care for your parent based on a daily schedule. Eating, bathing, resting, and medication are activities that can be arranged on a consistent basis, so that everyone knows what to expect and when. Explain the schedule to all family members in case some are able to fill in when needed even if they are not providing routine care at first.

Line up Respite Help

Nursing a sick relative is a noble undertaking, but it can be stressful and overwhelming at times. Set up a family care system for responsible members to take turns caring for your parent. If no one else is available, you can look into home health care agencies or possibly hospice if your loved one qualifies for service. You may need an occasional break due to illness or job duties as well, so it is important to have someone on standby when the time comes.

Arranging these key points will help to prepare everyone for the change in household routine. Keep family members informed, and coordinate your loved one’s care with the experts to keep everything running smoothly.

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