Whether you are a patient or a caregiver, it can be difficult and overwhelming to search for a home health care or hospice care provider. The type of care that you receive is reliant on what your goals are for patient care. Your health care provider should provide you direction of what service is appropriate to seek for you or your loved one’s needs, however it is important to understand and distinguish the difference between the two types of care for your own comfort and peace of mind.
TIP 1: KEEP ALL YOUR LOVED ONE’S MEDICAL INFORMATION AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION ORGANIZED AND AT EASY REACH.
When acting as a caregiver to a loved one, you may encounter situations that you could use a doctor’s input on, as well as emergency situations where time is sensitive. In either instance, your responsibility as a caregiver will be safer and less stressful if you have your loved ones most important information easily on-hand. Information like a list of doctors that have provided care to your loved one, the Home Health Agency that is currently providing home care or home hospice services, any emergency numbers including medical personnel and family members, as well as legal documents like living wills, DNR’s and/or a power of attorney.
TIP 2: ENJOY ACTIVITIES THAT ARE MENTALLY STIMULATING FOR YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONE.
Simple activities can not only keep your loved one mentally stimulated, but they can also be a nice decompression tool for both you and your loved one, as well as a nice bonding experience for you both. Activities that you can enjoy with your loved one, typically in any state of health, would be simple puzzles, low-stress crafts, word games, and even looking through scrapbooks or photo albums. These activities not only keep the mind and hands occupied, but they also allow for light conversation or even some much-needed quiet time if preferred.
TIP 3: REST AND TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF WHEN YOU CAN.
If your homebound loved one can utilize home health care or home hospice services, like those provided by Doctor’s Choice Home Care & Hospice, you can utilize the time that a home health provider is in the home with your loved one to take a short break and practice some self-care. If you can step away, you can enjoy a short walk or drive, take a relaxing bath, keep up with other household activities or just take some time for some light reflection, prayer and/or meditation. These small moments of self-care can be so valuable to your overall health and wellbeing. Your continued health is an important factor in whether you can continue to provide care to your loved one.
TIP 4: STAY CONNECTED TO FAMILY MEMBERS AND OTHER LOVED ONES.
With the limitations that the ongoing pandemic has had on in-person visits to loved ones who have pre-existing health conditions or are immunocompromised, it is so easy to feel isolated. The good news is that there are still ways to feel emotionally connected even if distance or illness is preventing an in-person visit. Facetime, Zoom and Skype are all great tools to use to see a friendly face and feel connected. Classic means of communication like phone calls and even writing letters are also great ways to stay connected with friends and family! Sometimes a short, sweet hello can mean a lot and help you and your loved one feel valued and thought of.
TIP 5: DO WHAT YOU CAN TO STAY ACTIVE!
Along with self-care activities, regular exercise is so important for both your physical and mental health! When the weather allows, get outside. A short walk or jog, or even some light stretching outside will get you some much needed fresh air and sunshine! (Just remember a hat and SPF!). Taking some time to get moving inside or visiting a gym when your schedule allows are great options as well. Depending on your homebound loved one’s condition or activity level, this can be another great bonding experience for you if you can include them in your activities, even if the movements need to be modified, it can be great for their circulation and mental stimulation.
While there can be a lot to manage when acting as a caregiver to a loved one, we hope that these tips help to keep you healthy, happy and supported. Depending on the needs of your loved one, Doctor’s Choice Home Care & Hospice would be honored to be your selected home care and hospice service provider. For more information about who qualifies for home health care and to learn more about services that we offer, visit our Services Provided.