At first, you might feel as if it’s impossible to completely understand not only what your senior needs now but also in the future. But the reality is that as you gain experience with caregiving, it’s a lot easier for you to predict what your elderly family member might need and to put those resources into place.
What’s Working and Not Working Right Now?
The first step in making sure you’re evaluating your senior’s needs is to look at what’s working and not working right now. Is her goal to live as independently as possible? What’s supporting that goal? Is she in danger of needing to move because she’s not accepting help and she can’t do it all on her own? These are situations you need to dig deeper into so you can analyze what’s helpful and what is hindering progress.
What’s Waiting Down the Line?
Your senior has a path ahead of her. Her health and her ability to take care of herself impact how easy or how difficult that path is going to be. She’s got help from you, but what else is waiting down the road? If her health is expected to become dramatically worse in the near future, that’s going to need to be addressed with some changes in her care plan. Talk with your elderly family member’s medical team to make sure you understand how her health is expected to change.
What Can You Already Do?
You need to understand your limits, especially if you’re not there just yet. You need to assess what you’re already doing, compare that against the help your senior is going to need, and determine where the gap lies. That’s where you need to focus on getting extra help because you truly can’t do more than your own limits demand.
Who Else Can Help?
Knowing who you can rely on for help is crucial. Other family members may be able to offer differing degrees of assistance, which means that you might need to supplement your assistance. Home care providers are often the easiest way to do that and they have the experience that you need in a pinch. They can also help you to start to learn now what your senior’s future needs are going to be like.
Your senior’s health and other circumstances will occasionally throw a wrench in all your hard work and planning. But that’s something that your plans will eventually account for more readily, especially as you gain experience.