The holidays may be one of the few times that we have the opportunity to truly gather together as a family due to life’s schedules and proximity of our loved ones. For those who traveled to a loved one this past weekend, it may be the time when you noticed things are changing with mom or dad. While you’ve connected often on the phone, the extended time together may have provided a deeper look at their daily lives. Perhaps you noticed they were repeating themselves more often or that they appeared to be having more difficulty getting around. Couple this insight with the resolve that married couples may attach to the “for better or for worse” marriage vow. “No one can care for you as well as I can” or “I’m your husband, it’s my duty to care for you.” It’s important as families to talk to one another about how things are changing and for everyone to understand that asking for help does not mean giving up. It simply means taking control.
As part of the evaluation of your family you might consider “what you can do” and “what can be done by others?” Perhaps having some help with food shopping or meal prep, which could be a grocery delivery service, signing up to receive Meals on Wheels and/or receiving in-home services from a respected agency like ABC Home Healthcare. Homemaking assistance can go a long way. Having someone come in to do the laundry may help avoid a fall that could lead to a hospital stay. As we get older making beds becomes more strenuous; if we can utilize others to accomplish these more manual chores we may feel better physically and mentally. Just a LITTLE help each week can make a BIG difference.
Caring for someone as they age can lead to moments of increased stress and frustration, possibly leading to exhaustion and what is referred to as “caregiver burnout”. To be a successful caregiver you need to take care of yourself. It may mean exercise, quiet time alone or social time with friends. As little as 15 minutes a day can make a world of difference in the life of a caregiver.
As we age we find comfort in our surroundings. In addition to help inside the home there may be modifications that may make life at home more manageable. It might be adjusting the layout of furniture or removing some rugs to allow for easier foot traffic, adding grab bars in the bath to help us get in our and out of the shower safely; installing hand held shower fixtures to make bathing easier and more. ABC Home Healthcare offers FREE in-home evaluation of our clients AND their surroundings to help identify potential hazards before they become an issue. Our In-Home Safety and Modification team can help make home more accessible and comfortable to our clients as they age.
As you enjoy time together with your loved ones this holiday season consider the gift of home, health and peace of mind as we age. Developing a relationship with an established agency like ABC Home Healthcare ensures that you’ll have a trained, compassionate caregiver there for you according to your schedule. Together we can make home happen.
Jeannette Sheehan, MSN, CCM, RN, Board Certified Nurse Practitioner is founder and owner of ABC Home Healthcare Professionals, providing private medical and non-medical home care services to metro Boston, North Shore Merrimack Valley and the Cape Ann communities. When researching home care services, give us a call at 978-281-1001, or visit our website at www.abchhp.com