Seven Tips to Successfully Caring For an Older Adult

Posted by Admin on February 17, 2011
Coinciding with a longer life expectancy is an increased demand for family members to serve as caregivers for older adults. Being a caregiver can be a demanding, stressful, and seemingly thankless job - but it is truly a blessing for elderly individuals to remain with family rather than spend their days in a clinical setting. SCAN Health Plan Arizona offers seven secrets to successfully caring for older adults.

  1. Learn about your loved one’s conditions – As a caregiver, you need to play the mediator between doctor and patient. You need to knowledgeably speak about the symptoms, challenges, and changes of your relatives’ physical and mental health.
  2. Seek Medicare support - Caregivers shouldn’t go through these challenges alone. Some Medicare Advantage plans, such as SCAN Health Plan, provide caregiver relief, in-home support, medical equipment access, transportation options, and coordination between yourself and healthcare providers.
  3. Examine the safety of your loved one’s quarters – With age comes an increased risk of falling, decreased mobility and other changes that affect the everyday lives of seniors. Make a checklist of all the questionable risks and make modifications to make it safer and more comfortable for them to live in.
  4. Have someone in mind for backup – Be able to identify at least one other person to fill in for you in case you become ill, injured, or must leave for an extended period. Keep this person up to date concerning the senior’s health challenges and needs.
  5. Look for additional resources – Many complimentary services are available to seniors and their caregivers.
  6. Seek financial and legal aid – Gather the financial and legal documents pertaining to your loved one and consult an attorney and/or financial advisor to ensure that their rights and assets are handled appropriately.
  7. Allow others to help – There’s no reason to take this challenge alone. When friends, neighbors, and family members offer help, allow them to make good on their offers.

President of SCAN Health Plan Arizona, Tom Lescault, adds, “It is imperative that caregivers take care of themselves, which is why SCAN Health Plan has implemented programs aimed at caring for the caregiver. We know that caregivers have higher stress levels, risk of depression, and chances of developing health problems themselves. It is our goal to make their loads a little lighter.”

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