Make a Plan: Helping a Loved One

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Planning. We do it all the time. Careers. Vacations. Retirement. Graduation. Weddings. These life events, besides being challenging and enjoyable, require detailed planning. A personal care plan for an aging loved one deserves just as much contemplation and attention.

When an aging loved one is no longer able to care for him- or herself, caregivers often get the task of making a plan to ensure his or her well-being.

Planning for another person, especially someone with complex medical needs, is extremely difficult. That’s why we suggest getting professional assistance. “Considering that care recipients have a high incidence of multiple chronic conditions and heavy acute care use, care coordination may be challenging for family caregivers,” according the report “Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care,” published by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the United Hospital Fund.

Family members caring for loved ones need help. It’s that simple.

Many caregivers handle issues that extend beyond their comfort level and still others know they don’t have the necessary expertise. “Two-thirds of family caregivers engaged in wound care found it difficult, and more than 60 percent who managed medications said that this was emotionally difficult and frightening,” according the AARP report.

Family caregivers also must be adept at monitoring and assessing symptoms and make treatment decisions without the necessary medical knowledge. Very few family caregivers are medical professionals.

“(F)amily caregivers,” AARP goes on to say, “are performing tasks that in the recent past would have been done only in hospitals or nursing homes.”.

Whether you provide care yourself or hire an organization to do this, you need a plan. This will take much of the pressure off you and help ensure the caregiving is consistent, appropriate and safe.

Alfonso Trujillo_Portrait_BlogAlfonso Trujillo, an expert in care management for aging adults, is vice president of Care Management at InnovAge



This blog is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your health or medical needs.

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