11 Tips for Home Care Assistance in St. Louis
Whether you’re new to providing home care assistance in St. Louis for an elderly loved one or you’ve been assisting seniors at home for a long time, you’re going to need some help at one point or another. It’s impossible to go it alone. Fortunately, you don’t have to. Here, we’ve got 11 great tips to help you provide the best home care assistance in St. Louis possible.
Some are broader, more overall mindset types of tips, while others are more specific pieces of advice. Both should be helpful in your quest for the best home care assistance in St. Louis. We’ll cover details you should pay attention to as well as places to go to get help with your caregiving duties. Of course, not all of them will be relevant to your situation, as your family’s needs are unique. Take what is helpful and leave the rest!
And of course, if you’d like to have a conversation to get more tailored suggestions to your specific circumstances, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts here at Seniors Home Care.
1. Keep an eye on nutrition.
As we age, our nutritional needs change, and our tastes are different, too. It’s important to make sure your elderly loved ones are eating enough protein so that they’re not at risk for losing muscle mass. Home care assistance in St. Louis can help with that.
Another related concern is hydration. Seniors can lose some of their sense of thirst over time, so it’s important to make sure they’re taking in enough liquids. Sugary beverages are obviously not an ideal way to stay hydrated, but water, milk, or 100 percent juice can be good options.
When you’re assisting seniors at home, making sure the whole household has nutritious meals three times a day can take up quite a bit of time. Finding a way to do it within budget and without spending all day in the kitchen is vital. There are different services available to help make this task easier, so look into getting additional assistance in this department if you need it.
2. Stick to a routine.
Lots of seniors do really well with a routine. One of the common benefits of sticking to a fairly consistent daily schedule is better sleep — higher quality rest as well as more of it, as your loved one can have an easier time getting to sleep and staying asleep when they’re on a routine that works for them. Their bodies know when to get up and when to start winding down for the day. Routines can also be comforting for a lot of folks, regardless of age.
Now, this isn’t to say that you should be strict with the routine. It’s not something that needs to be upheld at all costs — allowing for some variation keeps things interesting and fun. When you’re assisting seniors at home, a routine is simply a general guideline to keep the day moving smoothly. And routines don’t just have to be for days — doing certain activities on certain days of the week or having a monthly excursion can be fun, too.
3. Sprinkle in new activities to keep them engaged.
Yes, we did just talk about the benefits of maintaining a routine for your elderly loved one, but it’s also important to shake some things up every once in a while. Assisting seniors at home doesn’t always have to be monotonous! Seniors can get bored just like anyone else. So, try to come up with new activities for them to pursue. If you’re usually helping them with a crossword, try bringing them a jigsaw puzzle for a change, for example.
Flex your creativity! And if you’re coming up blank, you can always use the internet to help you come up with some ideas. Crafts, activities, and games can all brighten your loved one’s day. You can always brainstorm ideas for how to shake things up together if you’d like to get them involved.
4. Get them out of the house.
Securing reliable transportation for someone who can no longer drive is sometimes tricky. However, it’s great for many seniors’ mood and mental health to get out of the house on a regular basis. Going to coffee with friends, getting their hair done, or even just taking a walk around the block can be really helpful.
Assisting seniors at home and having friends or family come over to visit does help them remain social, but it’s also good to bring your loved one to others sometimes. That way, they get a change of scenery as well as a chance to catch up with their other loved ones.
It might be easier to keep them in their familiar surroundings, but having an occasional outing is a great way to keep things fresh, like we talked about in the previous section. Home care assistance in St. Louis should take advantage of everything our area has to offer. An excursion to one of our great parks or enlightening museums would be a welcome outing for many folks.
5. Prepare financially.
You don’t need to add worries about money to your list when you’re assisting seniors at home. Home care assistance in St. Louis is pretty expensive, as it is all across the country. If you’re planning on hiring a caregiver to provide home care assistance in St. Louis, starting to save early can be a big help. You can also look into your long-term care insurance options. Relying on Medicare is not usually going to cover all of your expenses.
If you’re leaving your full-time job in order to care for a loved one, you’ll have to work through the financial implications of that decision, too. It’s a great idea to have a discussion with all the parties involved so that each person’s contribution is made clear. Assisting seniors at home can require a lot of commitment from the care team, and making sure no one is going broke in order to make it happen might take involvement from everyone.
6. Be aware of increasing needs over time.
Sometimes it’s sudden, sometimes it’s gradual, but the job of assisting seniors at home always changes as time marches on. For caregivers, this is especially important in boundary setting.
Try to remain flexible with your care plan. We talked about the benefits of keeping your loved one on a general routine in an earlier section, but know that what works for a while probably won’t work forever. Amending your approach as different needs arise is a great way to stay on top of things.
7. Know what’s going on.
Thus far, we’ve focused on people who provide home care assistance in St. Louis. But what if you live elsewhere, far away from your loved one who needs help? Assisting seniors at home is extra difficult if you don’t call the same place home, but there are certain things you can also do to make sure they’re getting the best care possible, even from elsewhere.
Stellar communication with whoever is there and providing home care assistance in St. Louis is step one. Every interested party should be on the same page. Making sure of that can require a bit of extra work, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Some seniors might not want to be honest about what’s going on, but it’s important to try and get them to open up about what they need.
8. Make the home safe
What was once easy to navigate can get trickier as we age. It’s a great idea to get rid of tripping hazards — make sure rugs are secured or removed, wires are out of the way, and there’s not excessive clutter in high traffic areas, like the path from their bedroom to the bathroom. Adding appropriate lighting in those areas is another great step.
Assisting seniors at home is easiest when that home is set up for success. This should be one of the first things you do, and you should continue to monitor the home for any safety concerns going forward.
9. Prepare for emergencies.
No one wants to catastrophize and assume the worst, but it’s always a good idea to have some plans in place for senior care emergencies. Making sure the whole team is on the same page can help things go as smoothly as possible in the event of a crisis.
Keep important information ready to go in case of a sudden trip to the hospital — things like the contact information of your loved one’s primary doctor, a list of any medication they take, and any other details about their medical needs and wishes.
You can also have discussions among the family and caregivers about plans for emergencies, medical or otherwise. Everyone should know what their role is meant to be and what is expected of them when they’re assisting seniors at home, especially if they’re not there all that often. Making sure there’s a plan in place to notify everyone and take care of anything if there’s an emergency with the primary caregiver is a good idea, too. The person who’s providing the most home care assistance in St. Louis might suddenly be unable to perform that job, and if you live elsewhere, you should have some other plans in place.
10. Take care of yourself.
Being a primary caregiver for an aging loved one can be very rewarding, but it’s also a big job. In order to do your absolute best at it, you need to make sure your own needs are being met while you’re assisting seniors at home.
Try to enlist another caregiver to relieve you sometimes. Even if it’s only a few hours a week, you need time to yourself to take care of your own needs. Whether that’s running errands, catching up with friends, getting a massage, or even just taking a nap, taking that time can be restorative and leave you feeling better equipped to be the best caregiver possible.
Lots of the other points here relate to this one, too. Admitting your own limitations and calling in other help is part of making sure you can truly show up and be fully present for your loved one when you’re with them. Hiring home care assistance in St. Louis can be a good solution if you don’t have another way to get a break. Which leads us to our last piece of advice…
11. Don’t be afraid to call in the experts.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that your loved one is getting the best home care assistance in St. Louis. Having family around is great, but if you aren’t equipped to provide for all of their needs, then it’s time to get more support.
That doesn’t necessarily mean moving your loved one out of their home, though, or handing over their care entirely. You can still be majorly involved.
Sometimes seeking professional help with assisting seniors at home is merely a consultation. Or, you might need more time and more participation from expert caregivers. Like we said in a previous section, your family’s needs will change over time, so the extent of help you need from experts in the field will also differ. Skilled nursing and medical care are likely not things you can do for your loved one yourself, so those are, of course, best left to the professionals.
Home care assistance in St. Louis is a vital service.
So, you’ve made it to the bottom of our list, and you’ve learned a whole lot about assisting seniors at home. Home care assistance in St. Louis is no small feat. Whether you’re the main caregiver or simply support, you’ve got a big job ahead of you. There are, fortunately, plenty of ways to get home care assistance in St. Louis, and you don’t have to go it alone.
If you’re looking for a home care assistance agency in St. Louis, you can start by looking into our services here at Seniors Home Care. We’d be happy to have a conversation about how our services might be a good fit for you or a loved one. It can be a daunting task, but we’re here to provide what support we can and help you in assisting seniors at home. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!
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