Of all the many responsibilities when caregiving for elderly parents, potentially the most overwhelming is managing health conditions. The National Council on Aging reports that around three-quarters of all older adults are diagnosed with at least two chronic illnesses, and are seeing an average of four medical specialists.
As your aging parent’s advocate, it’s crucial to learn how to communicate effectively with those from the older adult’s medical team, and to come to appointments thoroughly prepared to address any and all concerns. The following four questions are a good starting point when caregiving for elderly parents:
- Are all of the prescription drugs essential? With most older adults taking numerous medications, you will want to keep a detailed list and review it occasionally with the physician as well as the pharmacist, each of whom will be able to make sure there aren’t any duplications prescribed by different specialists, or any contraindications between meds.
- If prescribing something new, what unwanted side effects might we expect to see? Evaluating the advantages vs. the potential health risks for any new medication is very important, as there could be situations when difficult side effects outweigh any advantages. And in case the doctor shares a blanket statement such as, “Most people do not suffer from any problems with this medication,” be sure to follow through to find out more about those who DO encounter problems.
- What’s the best method to decrease pain and discomfort? We’re all familiar with the opioid epidemic, as well as the chance of addiction along with other concerns that come with taking prescription pain medications. Yet unaddressed pain and discomfort can bring about both delayed healing and significant emotional stress, both for the senior experiencing pain along with his or her caregivers.
- If this were your mom, what would you do? Inviting the doctor to step into your shoes is generally an incredibly helpful method to gauge the way you might want to proceed. There may, in fact, be less invasive or aggressive means to managing a problem that you might wish to investigate first.
For more recommendations on making sure a loved one obtains the best possible Brentwood area home care, connect with the home care professionals at Stay Home Care. We are here to help through:
- Accompanying older adults to medical appointments and procedures and ensuring that questions are addressed
- Ensuring medicines are taken just as prescribed
- Proactively watching for any changes in condition, such as medication side effects, and reporting them immediately
- Preparing wholesome meals and providing encouragement to stay physically active to enhance health
- And so much more
To get started on a better quality of life for a senior, simply call our Brentwood home care team at 615-964-7726 to request an in-home consultation. We provide home care services throughout Wilson, Robertson, Sumner, Davidson, Rutherford, Williamson, and Cheatham Counties in Tennessee.