Senior Care Checklist: Top Tips and Essentials

Updated on December 22, 2021
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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Caring for a senior loved one or relative is no easy feat. In a lot of ways, it can be much trickier tending to people in this age group than it is to care for infants or young children. Most of the time, they already have health complications due to their lifestyle and age; they have been set in their ways for quite a while, which can make compliance harder; and because they are full-grown adults, it’s harder to move them around if they have mobility issues.

Furthermore, when caring for a senior, you should be able to accommodate not just their needs, but the demands of their health conditions.  For instance, if you’re caring for a senior suffering from the early stages of dementia, you need to exercise patience and a great understanding of their mental state.

With so many things to be considered and thought of, it’s not surprising that senior care becomes a skill in management – of your energy, resources, as well as your emotions. Make sure that you and whoever you hire is willing and very much able to perform the job well. It may get overwhelming, and one of the best safeguards for your competence is a certain confidence that you are doing the best anyone can do. 

Here are the top tips for senior care in order to make sure you are employing the best skill set for the job:

1. Get an overview of all health conditions and possible complications.

You cannot conquer an animal you do not know. First and foremost, get an assessment from your physician regarding the health conditions of your loved one and all the medication, lifestyle changes, and even therapy that has to be incorporated into the routine.

2. Outline your schedule.

It would be helpful not just for you or the caregiver, but for your senior loved one as well, to have a certain routine and stick to it. Have a set meal plan, an exercise plan, a recreational schedule, and other such activities plotted for the week. This gives your senior something to look forward to, and the routine gets everyone into a certain rhythm that will help increase your harmony with one another.

You can also ask about the common symptoms they experience, that way you’ll know how to properly attend to it when it happens. Additionally, you should also familiarize yourself with the things that they are allowed to do, or food they’re not allowed to have. For instance, if your senior needs to refrain from eating sweets, you should monitor their meals meticulously and avoid giving them sugary food and drinks.  

Additionally, following a schedule can also allow you to prepare for the day and ensure that you’re equipped with the right tools to care for a senior.

3. Assess your capabilities.

Because senior caregiving can be very exhausting, remember that you are not just managing your senior’s health – you should be managing yours as well. Map out how much time and energy you can realistically expend for your loved one, and if it goes beyond your means, do not hesitate to get help from professional caregivers as well as other willing family members. Get them on board as soon as possible.

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge on senior care or you want to encourage your family members to learn about it, you can look for an online platform that talks about caring for the elderly. With the help of modern technology, various resources about senior care are now made conveniently available. This can significantly make things easier since it allows you to learn how to handle different situations, even in the comfort of your home.

4. Have an emergency kit – including emergency skills – ready.

There must be a first-aid kit, and an adult who knows how to administer emergency procedures – including basic CPR – at any one time in the home. Whether it’s you or your caregiver, make sure these life-saving skills can be called upon whenever necessary. Seek training from an authorized facility or provider, and get certification asap. You can get a lot more information on this at sites such as for you and your whole family. Remember that being ready for these possibilities can save a life.

5. Senior-proof your home.

Keep in mind even minor adjustments that can be made in order to make the life of your elderly loved one as safe and accommodated as possible. Move them to the bedroom on the ground floor in order to minimize stair use; install ramps for better wheelchair accessibility; mount handrails for safety in the shower areas and other walking areas; and always be mindful of hygienic and lifestyle practices that are employed in front of them.

These are the top things to keep in mind to get you started and decrease your feeling of being overwhelmed. Get these basics in place and you will be able to smoothly and competently care for your loved one with confidence.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.