An aging population means that many adults are caring for their medically fragile grandparents. When you are charged with the care of your grandparent, you might feel overwhelmed at everything that needs to be done. These four home healthcare tips will make it easier for your family to provide the care your grandparents need.
Monitoring Changes in Mood and Behavior
When you visit your grandparent, watch for changes in mood and behavior. Your grandmother or grandfather might have a change in temperament if he or she is in pain or because of a medication side-effect. Changes in mood or behavior could also suggest a worsening of a medical or mental health condition, such as depression or dementia.
Hire Nurses to Make Home Visits
Nurses are a key resource for helping your aging grandparents to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. A visiting nurse is able to perform key medical services such as blood pressure checks, changing wound dressing and helping with other health needs such as colostomy bags. A visiting nurse can also make sure that your grandparent is staying hydrated and is getting adequate nutrition.
Use Monitoring Systems for Check-ins
You cannot be with your grandparent at every moment of the day. Even if you live with your grandparent, there will be times when you need to go to the store, run an errand or take a break for your own physical and mental health needs. You can check in with your grandparent with a monitoring system during these times. Hand-held devices are being used in the healthcare field for remote monitoring in case your grandparent falls or becomes ill.
Keep Track of Prescription Medications
Many older people have an entire collection of prescription medications in their homes. These medications could interact with each other. It is especially important to keep track of prescriptions if your grandparent is getting medications from more than one doctor or pharmacy. If possible, keep an up-to-date list of what medicines your grandparent uses daily. Properly dispose of medications that are expired or no longer used.
Your grandparents are likely happier and healthier for staying at home for as long as possible. Working with professionals such as registered nurses makes it easier for you to keep track of your grandparents’ health. You can also look to other resources, such as the pharmacist or apps that allow you to keep track of prescription and over-the-counter medication use when caring for relatives.