Avoiding Elder Care Stress Requires Planning and Organization

Care for the elderly in home can be overwhelming. To avoid elder care stress it is important for the caregiver, or potential caregiver, to help the aging adult organize and plan for the unplanned events in life. Taking a proactive approach with the aging adults in your life will save you time, energy, money and undue stress.

Of course it is always best to attempt to plan for the unplanned emergency and get all paperwork and legal papers in order while the aging adult in your life is still well. It is not always possible. Many families are unable to have the necessary discussions or are in denial insisting that everything will be fine. Then, one day, a phone call comes in, and it is the local hospital, your aging loved one is in the emergency room and the news is not good.

There is a rush to the hospital, and the healthcare professionals have many questions that you are unable to answer. While your aging loved one is in the hospital, you now are left to look for important papers and do other things like pay the bills for your loved one. You may even have to make serious life altering decisions, under duress, because these were subjects that just are not discussed.

This is an everyday occurrence in every hospital in the country. Families are faced with the stress of making decisions they are unprepared to make, provide information they must research. Many start writing things on scraps of paper.

There is the “to do” list, the appointment list, names and numbers of healthcare providers, your own schedule and maybe even your families schedule. Care giving can be overwhelming and can cause an incredible amount of unnecessary stress.

Avoid unnecessary elder care stress. Care for the elderly in home requires planning and organization. The key to survival is planning and organization.

Planning is important as we age. We all want to maintain control, independence and our dignity as we grow older. Being proactive and discussing the important issues with our loved ones, even putting our wishes in writing, gives the aging adult control over their lives even when they can no longer speak for themselves.

Organization is important. There are so many aspects of our lives that we take for granted. When you care for the elderly in home, it is important to have things in one place and information easily accessible to make life easier.

The first step is to write things down. When you start your caregiver’s journey, have a notebook and pen with you at all times. Stress causes distractions and you may tend to forget things.

At home, it is important to get all the medical, legal, financial, home maintenance, religious and social information together and put in an easily accessible place. Develop a system where all the names, addresses and phone numbers are in one spot for ease and accessibility.

The medical information is important, as good record keeping can delay time wasted when treatment is necessary. Good record keeping can also prevent another invasive or painful test being preformed. It is important to have the name, telephone number, address and specialty of each health care provider that cares for your aging loved one.

Develop a master schedule, to keep track of when medications need to be reordered, appointments are scheduled, when the trash it to go out etc. It sounds silly, but care giving is intermittent, unpredictable and overwhelming at times. It is easy to get distracted and forget something.

Develop a file system. Sections for filing will be medical bills, legal papers, resources, financial papers. Paperwork can pile up, so make a file for things that will need to be filed. When things get overwhelming, filing may be a task to delegate to another family member.

Keep a log of those that you talk with in regards to the care of your aging loved one. A call log with the name of the individual you spoke with, date and time and a brief snippet what the call was about is important in case something is missed or care is delayed.

Learn to make copies of medical bills, medication scripts; if you are mailing them, insurance claims anything that you are mailing out and any important legal documents. Always have a backup plan in place. If there is an emergency, or if the primary caregiver is suddenly ill, there must be an alternative plan in place for someone else to step in. Expect that life will have many unplanned events. Try and prepare for them

Avoid elder care stress by being prepared. Care for the elderly in home requires one to be very organized. It is important to ask questions, make sure you understand the answers so that you can learn, plan and be organized for those unplanned life events.

Diane Carbo Registered Nurse has more than thirty five years in the nursing field. Her experience as a geriatric care manager, makes her uniquely qualified to help those who want to live out their lives in their own homes. That decision may be made when you are 20, 30, 40 or in fact at any age, with sooner rather than later being ideal. Diane has developed a web site to make people aware of issues and options. You will find a mountain of helpful information that will be continually updated. Please visit http://www.aginghomehealthcare.com/planning-in-advance.html sign up for Aging Home Health Care Ezine her free newsletter and receive a complimentary copy of the Home Health Care Planning Guide.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Diane_Carbo/5924

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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
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