Primary caregivers deserve a break from continual caregiving responsibilities. Whether it’s a few hours away from the care recipient or an extended vacation, a caregiver who includes a period of rejuvenation in his or her schedule will return with renewed focus and be able to better provide for the loved one.
Leaving the welfare of a vulnerable senior in the hands of a respite caregiver may appear daunting. Does the respite aid know that dad wanders at night and requires continual supervision? How will the respite caregiver know mom’s outbursts are a result of her dementia, and not a part of her normal behavior? Does the caregiver know grandpa needs to get to bed by 8 pm or he gets testy?
Concerns like these can best be communicated to a respite caregiver via a respite care checklist. The respite worker many not be familiar with your loved one; and even if the caregiver has provided respite services before for the senior in your life, your loved one’s condition may have progressed, leading to new scenarios requiring equal attention.
Even though respite care is short-term care, each respite caregiver will be able to offer optimum service during the brief period if the caregiver is well aware of the senior’s condition, habits and schedules.
Communicate general information. The first list of details you, as the primary caregiver, will want to provide include the name of your loved one, where you will be, your contact details, the length of time caregiving services are expected and when you will return.
Relay the senior’s basic medical condition. Inform the respite worker of all ailments the senior has, including symptoms. Any allergies the senior suffers from should be made known to the respite caregiver, as well.
Important to include in the checklist are the contact information for the senior’s medical team and details relevant to the senior’s healthcare: primary care physician, specialists, location of local hospitals, emergency contact information and medical insurance information.
Provide a list of medications. The medications the senior takes play a vital part in his or her life. In an emergency, the paramedics will need to know what medicines are in your loved one’s system, as well as the dosages, in order to provide proper medical care.
Give the respite caregiver a list of all medications and dosages the senior takes, along with the day and time the medicines should be consumed. Certain medications should not be mixed. Considering all medication-related warnings, it is critical that any special instructions for taking medicines are communicated.
Submit appointment information. Respite caregivers will provide transportation for your loved one as a part of care. The senior may have doctor’s or physical therapy appointments. Or, the care recipient might visit friends and family. Social activities will also have a place on the calendar. Respite caregivers will benefit from knowing the senior’s schedule, so that transport needs may be accommodated.
Ensure safety by giving the respite caregiver a list of the names of people who plan to visit. Knowing who to expect is a security precaution that keeps the caregiver and care recipient safe.
Note routine activities. Your loved one may prefer to go to bed and wake up at a particular time. The senior may adhere to a bedtime routine. The caregiver should know these details in order to help the senior stick with the established schedule.
Meal and snack times, morning activities, exercise timetables and even when the senior prefers to use the bathroom are all habits that a caregiver should be made aware of so as to offer comfortable continuity in the senior’s schedule.
Provide a list of physical capabilities. If the senior has a high risk for falls, this important detail should be made known to the respite caregiver. Some seniors may require a wheelchair, while others are mobile without help. Staircases may be an insurmountable challenge for certain seniors. Dressing or bathing in the morning may require assistance. Detail all physical capabilities so the respite worker knows where and how to assist the senior.
Suggest how mealtimes are handled. The respite caregiver should be aware of the senior’s food habits and preferences. If assistance with meal preparation is needed, the caregiver will help cook. Seniors with progressive conditions may be unable to eat on their own and will need to be fed. Certain illnesses also make swallowing difficult. Or, your loved one may only be able to consume soft foods. Details about eating should be clear to the caregiver.
Recommend entertainment. Seniors who enjoy a game of cards or simply being read to will experience gratifying moments when a respite caregiver can join in. If your loved one prefers solitary activities, like watching television or listening to the radio, the respite caregiver can set the TV channel or radio to the senior’s favorite show or station.
A respite care checklist is important in continuing the compassionate care your loved one is accustomed to and expects. As the family caregiver, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your loved one’s care will be seamless when you include a detailed respite care checklist. The respite caregiver will also know how to handle situations that arise when he or she has a checklist to refer to.
Respite care is invaluable in the lives of family caregivers. When you need a break from continual caregiving for a loved one, turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. Our licensed, bonded and insured home caregivers provide short- and long-term respite care services for families in need of relief from caregiving responsibilities.
As an elder care service provider, Assisting Hands Home Care is experienced in serving the elder populations with dedication and skill. Our team works with families to develop an in-home caregiving schedule so that all non-medical care is covered during the family’s time away.
Expect compassionate respite care from every Assisting Hands Home Care caregiver. Assisting Hands Home Care dependably serves the Naperville, IL community of families and their elderly loved ones.