Caring for two senior loved ones at the same time is double the work. Today, many married couples decide to age in place together, which makes it easier to provide care for both of them. Alternatively, you may have two loved ones who live in separate places, requiring you to carefully divide your time between them. These six tips apply to both situations so you can make sure both of your loved ones receive great care.
1. Identify Their Priorities
When two people need care, they often have different needs that take priority. For instance, one of your loved ones may need help with hygiene, while the other has a severe health condition that requires constant monitoring. Knowing their priorities can help you plan where you need to focus your attention as you make arrangements for their care.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior care. Waterloo, IA, families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
2. Provide Companionship
When your two loved ones live together, it’s easy to assume they have enough socialization. However, one of your loved ones may not receive enough stimulation if the other has cognitive challenges that make communication difficult. Your loved ones should also be able to talk to other people for variety. Make sure they have a companion to check on them a few times a week. Simply seeing a new face may brighten up their day. Seniors who live separately shouldn’t rely on you for all their social needs. A companion can give you a break and your loved one some different topics for conversation.
3. Keep Their Medications Separate
Medication mix-ups could happen when you’re in a hurry or tired. To reduce the chances of you giving one parent the other parent’s medication, make sure to store medicines in separate locations. Then make it a habit to always check the label before giving medicine to either of your loved ones. A medication journal for each of your loved ones also ensures you don’t confuse the times or doses, even when your loved ones live apart.
4. Set Up a Shared Calendar
Ideally, you should have several people helping with your loved ones’ care. While this makes it easier to manage all their needs, it can also lead to confusion if you don’t prioritize communication. Set up a shared calendar using an app or a traditional paper form left in the home. This way, everyone can see what their responsibilities are for the week.
5. Plan for Scheduling Conflicts
At times, you can expect that one parent may need transportation for an appointment while the other requires some other type of help. Make sure you have several people who can help you handle these types of situations. Knowing you have a backup caregiver to drive one loved one to an appointment while you manage the other one’s care means no one has to wait for care.
In-home caregivers can be a wonderful resource for overwhelmed family caregivers and their loved ones. When researching agencies that provide elder care, Waterloo, IA, families are usually looking for flexible care plans, compassionate and highly trained caregivers, and 24/7 availability. Whether you need respite care to take a break from your caregiving duties or your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, you can rely on Home Care Assistance.
6. Accept Your Limitations
It’s admirable to want to do everything yourself. However, you must remember one person cannot handle all the needs of two older adults. Accept help when it’s offered, and delegate other tasks as they come up. Taking care of yourself now means you’ll have the energy you need to continue to care for both of your loved ones.
For some families, caring for senior loved ones can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Waterloo, IA, 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. If you need professional care for your senior loved ones, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 319-260-2222.