According to Careers Australia, nearly 3 million Australians act as primary family carers by providing informal assistance to loved ones. If you’re preparing to provide care for an elderly loved one, it can be helpful to get a better idea of what to expect. Here are six things you’ll likely need to do when assuming your role as a family carer.
1. Lend a Hand with Health-Related Needs
If your loved one is like many older adults, he or she probably takes one or more prescription medications on a regular basis. One of the tasks you’ll likely need to handle as a family carer is making sure your loved one is taking these medications as directed. Related tasks typically include:
• Transportation to doctors’ appointments
• Discussing health concerns with your loved one’s doctor
• Ensuring follow-up care instructions are followed after hospital stays
2. Help with Basic Care Needs
The extent to which you’ll need to help with such things as grooming and bathing will depend on your loved one’s capabilities. The need for this type of assistance could become greater over time if your loved one has a progressive condition such as Alzheimer’s.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualised 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.
3. Assist with Household Tasks
Maintaining a home can be increasingly difficult for older adults, especially when tasks involve bending, reaching, or standing for long periods. On the other hand, many seniors prefer to remain as independent as possible, so offer to help only when you’re asked or when you can clearly tell your loved one is having difficulty with household tasks, which might include:
• Doing the dishes
• Cleaning higher surfaces
• Taking out the garbage
• Doing yard-related work
4. Prepare Meals
Food preparation can become difficult as seniors get older. Some seniors also get into the habit of opting for convenient foods that aren’t all that healthy. One way to lend a hand is to prepare meals with your loved one, which allows you to handle the more demanding tasks, such as reaching for pots and pans and standing by the stove to stir while your loved one still has a hand in what’s being made. Additional food-related tasks you may need to do as a family carer include:
• Shopping for groceries
• Keeping an eye on your loved one’s food choices
• Preparing healthy meals your loved one can store in the freezer and heat up easily
5. Transfer and Transport
Some older adults need a hand getting out of bed and transferring to a chair. If your loved one has mobility issues, be prepared to perform transfer tasks like these on a regular basis. And if your loved one is no longer able to drive safely, he or she will appreciate having a way to get out of the house and run errands if you take over the transportation duties.
Sydney senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional care workers can help your ageing loved one continue to live independently.
6. Offer Companionship
One of the more rewarding tasks you’ll perform as a family carer is providing companionship for your loved one. This is something you can do by reading books together, working on fun projects such as creating family scrapbooks, or simply sharing memories and enjoying a beautiful day.
If you’re the primary carer for a senior loved one in Sydney, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caring duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite care workers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of ageing. Call us today at (02) 9158 3880 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.