How to Look after a Loved One who Needs Long Term Care

gI_0_1_FamilyCaregiverAgingFather3When a loved one begins needing long term care, may it be due to age or health conditions, your responsibility as a loved one or family member is to look after their well-being and ensuring that they get the best quality of care.

Whether your loved one is receiving care from you or a professional, at home, or in a care setting, here are things that you need to do in order to look after their well-being and what kind of care they receive.

1. Educate yourself about your loved one’s situation

Having a clear understanding of your loved one’s condition will make it easier for you to determine if they’re receiving the right kind of care. For instance, if your loved one requires long term care due to Alzheimer’s disease, it’s best if you learn as much as you can about this medical condition. This way, you can better understand what they’re going through and know the extent of care that they actually need.

2. Find the best long term care setting or services for your loved one

The need for long term care greatly varies. Some could be cared for within the home while others are advised to move to care facilities like assisted living and nursing homes in order to get the best quality of care.

Apart from their condition, you also need to factor in your capability to provide care. Consider your job, family, finances and the time that you need for caregiving. You can take advantage of adult day care services or ask paid caregivers to visit your home to help you manage the responsibility and give you time for other important things. Otherwise, you can opt to move your loved one in a facility where professionals can take care of them round-the-clock.

3. Know how to recognize signs of abuse

People who need long term care are more susceptible to abuse and neglect because they are perceived to be weak. Since this is the case, you need to be extra careful and mindful of the red flags of mistreatment.

Indicators of abuse include visible signs of injury such as bruises, scars or broken bones. A sudden change in behavior is also a symptom. Unexplained bank transactions or missing money in the home can be an indicator of financial abuse. If your loved one voices out complaints toward another person, take time to investigate what happened to know what actually took place and prevent any other forms of mistreatment down the road.

4. Take care of yourself

Family caregiver or not, you need to look after your own well-being so that you’ll have the strength to look after your loved one who needs long term care. Minimize your stress levels and boost your health by getting adequate sleep, maintaining a healthy diet and having a support group.

Sources:

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/lifechallenges/life_transitions/caring_for_ill_or_aging_parents.aspx

http://www.helpguide.org/elder/caring_for_caregivers.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/caregivers/in-depth/caring-for-the-elderly/art-20048403

http://www.ltcoptions.com/look-loved-one-needs-long-term-care/

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