“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
Serving as an advocate for a senior you love is probably one of the biggest honors – and responsibilities – you’ll have as a family caregiver. It means completely comprehending the other person’s wishes and needs, and communicating them to those who can help ensure they are achieved.
If the role seems daunting and perhaps more than you feel equipped to carry out, there are several actions you can take to strengthen the abilities you will need to be most effective.
Monitor. It may seem to go without saying, however with a lot of things competing for your focus, it can be simple to pay less attention than required to subtle shifts in a senior’s behaviors, condition, or mood. It is helpful to first make sure your own self-care needs are met so you’re well-rested and sharp. Next, implement a system to record and share notes with any other members of the family or friends who are in close contact with the older adult to be certain to recognize any changes.
Communicate. Effective communication with medical, legal, or financial experts is vital to appropriately advocate for a senior. Because these professionals are incredibly busy, keep your communication style clear, concise, and to the point. Bring notes so you’re certain to address all of the bases. Remain respectful, and be aware that listening is as vital to good communication as speaking. And, thank the professional for hearing you out and for their assistance in coming to the very best resolution.
Learn. Continue to educate yourself on the specific health condition(s) the senior is battling, along with aging in general, and legal/financial matters. While you learn more, it’s possible that additional questions will arise. In the event that you can’t get the answers you need from one particular professional, try another trusted source until you gain the understanding needed.
Be tenacious. Advocating for an older adult member of the family effectively has been described as serving as “chief bulldog.” This means giving it your all, identifying creative answers to complicated dilemmas, always with the older adult’s best interests at heart. Be prepared for frustrations to occur, and to have to advocate for exactly what your loved one requires!
First and foremost, maintain an optimistic frame of mind, and surround yourself with a solid support system, including the senior care team at Golden Harmony Home Care in Raleigh, NC. We are here to partner with you to ensure the very best quality of life for an older adult you love. We also provide you with the chance to step away from your caregiving role to recharge and refresh – something extremely important for both your loved one and yourself. We provide personalized home care to Raleigh, NC and the surrounding area.
Contact us at 919-426-7522 any time and let us know how we can help! We offer a free of charge in-home assessment and creation of a customized care plan that will help make sure all of your care bases are covered!