As a worried adult looking after an elderly parent, one assumes a variety of roles, including being a planner, money manager, housekeeper, nurse, navigator, and nurturer. However, being an advocate for aging parents may be the most significant role, to ensure that your loved one has the greatest life possible at the age where they are at their most vulnerable state.
This entails comprehending their care and quality-of-life preferences and ensuring that they are honored through your actions and ensuring that they receive the best possible services and treatments at the appropriate times.
If you want to become a more effective advocate for your aging parent, here are three key skills to try to cultivate.
Being More Observant
The slightest change in our loved ones’ abilities, health, moods, safety needs, or wants may signal a far more serious medical or mental health crisis. Unfortunately, caregivers are sometimes too busy or fatigued to detect these little changes. Early detection of those abnormalities can significantly reduce the issue.
Keeping a tight check on the services they are receiving and putting in requests to improve any inadequate treatment is equally important.
Here’s how you can hone your observation skills:
- Try practicing mindfulness and meditation, which can help you become more aware and more present in the moment
- Make notes on what you notice about the people you care about so you can monitor changes over time. If there aren’t enough in-person interactions, ask co-workers or neighbours to observe your loved one and report back to you.
Having Good Organisation Abilities
With so many uncertainties involved, staying on top of your loved one’s care plan can be challenging. As an advocate, you’ll need to oversee the caregivers providing care for your loved one, create task lists, and arrange the mountains of paperwork pertaining to their health, legal status, and financial situation.
To help make the process smoother, make digital copies of important papers (such as lists of your loved one’s prescriptions, their medical history, their living will) so you may access them from your phone or tablet wherever you are.
Retirement communities may also help aid you in the process of organising your loved one’s care plan. Here in our community, our Expressions concierge services will help your loved with the daily organization and planning of events, as well as other time-consuming tasks.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions as you gather knowledge; it’s part of your role as a caring loved one. Asking never hurts, and you frequently miss out on key information if you don’t.
Here’s how you can formulate pertinent inquiries:
- Learn about the financial, legal, and health issues that your loved one is facing.
- When speaking with facility personnel, doctors, or other experts in person or over the phone, be ready with a list of questions. Don’t quit until you are confident you have the solutions you need to effectively advocate.
- When trying to arrange care or services, if a problem arises, consider alternate options to get the job done. It can sometimes also just come down to asking the correct person your questions.
Sometimes, being an advocate for your aging parent means deciding on a living option that is best for their care needs. Feel free to contact our retirement community team, and we’ll be happy to assist you in deciding what program will be the most beneficial for your parent!