Taking care of an elderly or disabled loved one is challenging. That’s why many New York families benefit from home health care services. Regular visits from a home health aide can take pressure off the relatives and allow them to enjoy a stress-free relationship with the elderly or disabled patient. Today, we’ll explore how friends and family members can support patients living in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, or Brooklyn.
How Can Friends and Family Support Someone Receiving Home Health Care Services in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, or Brooklyn?
When you hire a home health aide to look after your loved one, you delegate certain essential tasks to them. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll no longer be involved. Your help is still essential. To make life easier for your friend or relative, participate in care planning and establish a positive relationship with the nursing agency and the home health aide.
When everyone works together and communicates frequently, it’s easier to coordinate care and make sure the patient’s needs are met. Aside from spending time with your loved one, you might also have to take over some Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, like looking after their finances or organizing their schedule.
Participate in Care Planning
Most people who require home health care have several medical conditions. Therefore, they might need appointments with geriatricians, physical therapists, ENT specialists, nutritionists, exercise specialists, and counselors. Planning home health services around a patient’s schedule and personal preferences and coordinating care with so many professionals can be hard.
Family members and friends can help by keeping track of their loved one’s appointments and making sure everyone has the necessary information. Because they know the patient best, they can judge whether the current level of care meets their needs. If not, they can collaborate with the home health agency to find additional solutions.
Accompany the Patient to Medical Appointments
Many home health care patients suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s. As a result, they don’t fully understand their medical needs, and they can’t keep track of their own schedules. These patients often struggle to understand what their doctors are saying during appointments. That’s why they need a trusted friend or family member to accompany them. Going to the doctor’s office with your loved one allows you to advocate for them.
The doctor can give you important information about their current condition and needs. The more you know about the patient’s health, the better you can help them. It’s important to remember that you might need a power of attorney for health care to be able to obtain medical information about the patient. Try to sort this out as early as possible, ideally before the patient can no longer make their own decisions.
Establish a Positive Relationship with the New York Nursing Agency
At Parent Care, we want your whole family to feel supported. That’s why we offer care planning and care coordination to all our patients and their loved ones. If you believe that your friend or relative is not able to take care of their basic needs alone, reach out to us, and tell us about their situation. Based on the information you provide, we then evaluate whether we can help you.
If the patient is a good candidate for home health care, we’ll come up with a plan that involves regular visits by a health aide. While some patients only need help once or twice a week, others require assistance for several hours a day. Regular communication between our agency and the patient’s family is crucial because it allows us to provide the right services at the right time. The more communicative the relatives are, the better the patient’s experience.
Communicate Any Changes Clearly
Home health aides and nurses rely on the patient’s family and friends to communicate changes clearly. If you’re taking the patient out for the day, you have a family gathering, or you can no longer attend a scheduled meeting, let us know as soon as possible. This makes it easier for us to adjust our home health care services and provide your loved one with the necessary care.
It’s also important that you keep a close eye on your friend or relative’s condition. If you notice any changes in their behavior, speak to the patient’s care coordinator, home health aide, or primary physician. Sometimes, additional tests or medication might be necessary.
Consider Legal Matters
As mentioned, you might need a power of attorney for health care to be able to make medical decisions for your loved one in New York. Obtain this before the person develops dementia or Alzheimer’s. Having power of attorney doesn’t mean that you can make decisions for the patient while they’re still able to do so alone. The power of attorney only kicks in once the patient is no longer able to understand and communicate clearly.
You might also need a different power of attorney that allows you to make financial decisions for the elderly person. Speak to a lawyer local to Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, or Brooklyn to find out how this works. If you don’t know how to find someone who can help, reach out to us and book a care planning appointment. We’ll analyze your situation, recommend trusted professionals to you, and determine what steps your family needs to take.
It goes without saying that emotional support is extremely important for someone struggling with the Activities of Daily Living. Loneliness is one of the biggest problems for elderly and disabled people, and they almost always look forward to visits from their families and friends. Try to visit as often as you can. Speak to the other family members and friends to find out when they are seeing the patient.
That way, you can make sure your loved one is never alone for more than a few days at a time. If you live far away and can’t visit often, speak to us about companion care. We sometimes connect patients with companions who visit them regularly and speak to them, play games, read books, go on outings, or do light housework.
Ask for Support when Necessary
Caring for an elderly or disabled person is immensely challenging. If you feel overwhelmed, sad, or anxious, you’re not alone. Most caregivers struggle with feelings of hopelessness and depression at some point, especially if they have a close personal relationship with the patient. Take care of your own mental health, and make sure you get the help you need.
Speaking to a counselor or therapist could be helpful, especially during difficult moments. Select someone who understands what you’re going through. Don’t hesitate to let us know that you’re struggling. We might be able to refer you to specialists and offer additional support to the patient, so you’re less overwhelmed. Aside from daily visits from a home health aide, we also provide companion care, elder care planning, care coordination, and hospice care.
Thanks to New York home health care services, frail patients don’t have to go to nursing homes when they can no longer complete the Activities of Daily Living. Instead, they can remain in their Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, or Brooklyn homes. Home health care takes the pressure off family members, so they can enjoy their time with the patient without worrying about essential services. Contact us at Parent Care to find out more.