One of the best parts of the new year is the opportunity for a fresh start and a renewed outlook. The same is true for those who are evaluating their approach to caregiving and their loved one’s current needs. Are you setting yourself up for caregiving success this new year? We can help.
Questions to ask when planning for the future.
As you consider creating or refreshing your caregiving plan, ask yourself if:
- Your loved one is safe in their current environment
- You have the right support in place to meet their current needs
- The right support is in place for future care
- You have all the healthcare and legal documents you need
- You are prepared for your loved one’s health needs changing or if an emergency occurs
These questions can serve as the foundation of your new caregiving plan, leading you into what you may need to consider as time goes on.
Creating your new caregiving plan.
Plan for each stage of caregiving.
Set a goal to plan for each stage of memory loss. This can help to cover any sudden changes. To be ready for changes that may occur as dementia progresses, you should consider and plan for:
- Who will provide care
- What tasks each person will be responsible for
- What needs to be taken care of on a daily basis
- Who will step in when the primary caregiver isn’t able to provide care
- If a home care service will be used as care needs increase
- Additional services to use, such as Meals on Wheels
Evaluate care needs throughout the year.
In the case of caregiving, the motto of “set it and forget it” is not the best concept to follow. Create a plan, then throughout the year:
- Reassess your loved one’s behaviors, symptoms and needs
- Review your caregiving goals
- Consider family members, friends or organizations that may be able to provide support your caregiving journey
- Be realistic about what you can personally handle and where you may need to seek help
- Revise or create a new care plan for your loved one that suits their current care needs – and your own
Ensure the proper health and legal documents are in place.
If you don’t yet have your loved one’s health and legal documents established, the new year is a good time to do so.
- Spell out care instructions and wishes in advance directives
- Make sure they’ve assigned a durable power of attorney for healthcare and finances
- If possible, have them create a living will
- Assign a living trust
Assess safety of the home and surroundings.
If your loved one wishes to remain at home, care needs to be taken to ensure it remains a safe environment. This means that family caregivers will need to take into account some of these issues:
- Wandering and how to prevent it from occurring
- Lack of light in the evening and increased shadows
- Fall hazards
- Accessibility of the home
- Medication safety
If this isn’t done already, you’ll want to be sure that you install adequate locks and alarms in the home, that there is enough light for your loved one to see, fall hazards are not present, the bathroom and kitchen are accessible, and medications are safely locked away.
Tour memory care communities.
Is memory care in your loved one’s plan of care? Whether it is or isn’t yet, it can help to learn more about what a memory care community can offer now and in the future. At Bridges® by EPOCH, residents receive support with their healthcare needs from a trained care team. We are also happy to provide area families with resources that can help, including educational sessions, support groups and more.
Take it day by day.
Because care needs can change in the blink of an eye, it’s important to establish daily care plans, too. Some of these aspects can include:
- Creating a daily routine.
- Managing household tasks and chores
- Providing assistance with activities of daily living
- Planning activities to stimulate the brain
- Managing sleep problems
- Finding a support system for you, whether through a caregiving team, family members, or long-term care
No matter what each day brings, it’s important to take changes as they come, and fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. We’re here to help. For more information on reevaluating and reassessing your caregiving plan, or to speak to a member of our team, contact the location nearest you today.
Enhancing Quality of Life
Bridges® by EPOCH memory care communities have been developed from the ground up to anticipate, meet and exceed the needs of our residents and their families. Our team of remarkable people, the exceptional care and services we offer, and the purposeful design of our buildings all combine to create the most rewarding, secure and nurturing lifestyle possible for our residents.
Bridges® by EPOCH communities are located in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, in the following towns: Norwalk, CT; Stamford, CT; Trumbull, CT; Andover, MA; Hingham, MA; Lexington, MA; Mashpee, MA; Pembroke, MA; Sudbury, MA; Westford, MA; Westwood, MA; and Nashua, NH.