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6 Mistakes to Avoid When Caring for an Aging Loved One

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Every new caregiver undergoes a steep learning curve. You’ll likely discover how to provide effective care through trial and error, but this doesn’t mean you can’t learn from the mistakes of other caregivers. Here are six common caregiving mistakes and tips for avoiding them. 

1. Hiring the First Medical Professional You Find 

New caregivers often have the job thrust upon them. Perhaps your loved one needs extra care after a stay in the hospital or after being diagnosed with dementia. Caregivers are often responsible for choosing doctors, physical therapists, or specialists for their loved ones. When time is of the essence, it can be tempting to go with the first referral. However, it’s in the best interest of your loved one to do some research before making a final decision. Being armed with knowledge is one of the first rules of caregiving. 

Although it may be challenging to find a reliable, highly rated home care company, Scottsdale, AZ, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.

2. Not Being Careful with Medications

Many seniors have to take multiple pills at different times of the day, and it’s usually up to their caregivers to keep track of the medication schedule. New caregivers may be tempted to take shortcuts, but this can affect the efficacy of the medication. For example, if your loved one has a difficult time swallowing pills, don’t cut the pills into pieces or crush them into a powder, as this can alter how the drug is absorbed by the body. 

3. Not Taking Notes During Doctor’s Visits

When attending doctor’s visits with your loved one, always take diligent notes. Even if you have a good memory, you may not be able to retain all of the information relayed during the appointment. Taking notes can be crucial because it allows you to provide other family members with detailed information. Make sure to file these notes so you have a complete account of the doctor’s treatment advice. 

4. Not Being Proactive About Medical Care

Many new caregivers have never had to navigate the healthcare system before. Your experience may have been confined to routine physicals and the occasional specialist treatment. As a caregiver, you’re going to have to become more proactive about your loved one’s medical treatments. When going to a general practitioner or a specialist, bring every piece of relevant medical information. There’s no guarantee healthcare specialists have shared reports, paperwork, and test results, and you need to have this information on hand. 

5. Failing to Work as a Team

You can’t do everything yourself. While you may provide day-to-day care for your loved one, this doesn’t mean other family members can’t pitch in. If you are taking care of an elderly parent, your siblings should take on some of the responsibilities. Instead of splitting the responsibilities arbitrarily, hand out tasks according to financial resources, proximity, time, and skills. 

Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your senior loved one needs high-quality in-home care. Get in touch with Home Care Assistance to find out how a Scottsdale, AZ, caregiver can help your aging loved one live a longer, healthier, and happier life. Our caregivers are available 24/7, all of our senior care services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

6. Forgetting to Make a Medication Master List

A medication master list should be a complete list of everything your loved one takes, ranging from over-the-counter pain relievers to prescription medications. Also include pertinent details like the dosage and color of the pill.

Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to avoid a variety of caregiving-related mistakes and ensure your loved one receives high-quality in-home care. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated elder care agency. Scottsdale Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, reach out to us at 480.448.6215 today.