Home care agency’s caregivers are trained to provide senior home care to those requiring extra assistance managing their everyday activities. They work directly with aging patients who are navigating life amidst changing physical and mental abilities. Because caregivers are working with your family members on a regular basis, they get to know what their specific needs are, and how to best assist them.  Though caregivers are there to take care of senior home care patients, it is important for the patients’ families to be knowledgeable, as well. Working with your family member’s caregiver and asking them questions is an important part of the overall care process. You can offer support to a family member in more ways than you think.

Come up with a transportation plan: If you and your spouse are working throughout the day, there probably isn’t a way for your loved one to get to and from their doctor appointments. In fact, 40% of senior patients miss their appointments due to a lack of transportation. Consider asking your home care agency about setting up a transportation plan. It’s easy to set-up, and provides door-to-door service for medical appointments, outings and more. Plus, it gives you peace of mind. It’s much a safer option than finding another vehicle for your family member to drive.

Fill in the gaps with the help of a patient advocate: Senior home care is in many cases just the beginning for those requiring assistance, as they grow older. There are more doctors’ appointments to schedule, different medications to take, and an array of insurance plans to consider. Luckily, you don’t have to go through those changes alone. Talk to your home care agency about patient advocacy. Patient advocates are there to help you navigate all the major life changes, and likely, alleviate some the stress that comes with them.

Basic Training:  Participate in the process. If your home care agency’s caregiver is prepping prescription pillboxes for the week, watch while he or she does it. Ask if you can help with any daily activities. Ask your caregiver if he or she has seen any significant changes in your family member’s level of functionality. Engaging in the everyday activities helps you feel more involved, and lets your family members know you’re there for them.

If you’re interested in taking a course so you can provide more help with everyday activities, consider signing up for one of our family caregiver training classes.