Multiple health issues can complicate a senior’s care plan. Health conditions such as diabetes and arthritis influence each other, and they also require families to engage in some serious discussions about how to manage each one. These five strategies can help you give your senior loved one the care he or she needs to be as healthy as possible while managing more than one serious health condition.
1. Ask About Priorities for Care
Seniors with more than one health issue tend to have multiple options for addressing their symptoms. However, there may be drawbacks to the treatment that must be considered along with your loved one’s goals. For instance, your loved one may opt out of taking medications that cause debilitating side effects if his or her goal is to stay independent. Alternatively, a senior who wants to live for as long as possible may choose to take the medications and plan for assistance. Either choice is acceptable, but the doctor does need to know what your loved one wants.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. Portland families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
2. Decide Who to Involve in Decisions
Your loved one may need your family’s involvement to keep up with things such as remembering what was said at a doctor’s appointment. He or she may also rely on your family for help making decisions. To avoid conflicts, appointing someone to help with the majority of the decision-making may decrease confusion so your loved one can proceed with the treatment plan with confidence.
3. Focus on Healthy Lifestyle Practices
Health typically increases once a senior embraces healthy changes in life. While you might not be able to cure your loved one’s diabetes or Parkinson’s disease, you can help him or her manage the symptoms with an exercise plan. After consulting with a physician, help your loved one implement changes such as exercising for a set amount of time each day. You can also slowly incorporate new strategies over time, such as trying out a new healthy recipe, until your loved one begins to notice positive changes in his or her overall health.
For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Portland, Maine, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.
4. Use Technology to Stay Organized
Your loved one may take multiple medications, see several different specialists, and have frequent medical appointments that all make managing his or her health a full-time job. Treat your loved one’s care plan like you would a job by setting up an organizational system that helps you stay on top of everything. For instance, smartphone apps that pertain to health can help you track symptoms and medical appointments. Many apps can also be shared with other caregivers, which makes it easier to communicate about changes.
5. Plan for the Future Now
The hope should always be that your loved one’s health stabilizes or increases over time. However, you should also be realistic and remember aging often brings new health issues that could impact your loved one’s current needs. Talk to your loved one about his or her preferences in case he or she experiences major health changes. This way, you can already be confident about managing your loved one’s care the way he or she prefers and address challenges effectively in the future.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly home care. Portland families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Call (207) 835-4849 today to schedule a no-obligation consultation.