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Essential Tips for Family Caregivers During The COVID-19 Crisis

Essential Tips for Family Caregivers During The COVID-19 Crisis

December 22, 2020

Seeing a loved one age is never easy. When that person can no longer take care of his or her own health, however, it can be downright overwhelming if you are a family caregiver. This is especially true when there is a global pandemic complicating the process even further. As long as you keep these tips from WalkWise in mind, however, you should be able to find the compassionate care your loved one needs without sacrificing his/her safety.  

Having The Right Legal Paperwork is Essential  

Having to make decisions about another person’s health and well-being can be an enormous undertaking for family caregivers. So if you want to avoid any added stress or tension for your family, the AARP explains that you should make sure you understand which legal paperwork is needed before you begin making choices for your senior loved one.  

For example, you may know that a power of attorney is necessary, but there are different types of power of attorney forms that will grant you authority over different aspects of your loved one’s care. A conventional power of attorney can be drafted to cover financial choices when an individual experiences a decline in cognitive health, while a medical power of attorney can ensure that caregivers can make decisions regarding a loved one’s healthcare. If your loved one is nearing the end of his/her life, it may also be a good idea to have them complete a living will form along with any other advance medical directives.  

Finding Ways to Pay for Care is Also Important  

Unless your loved one planned ahead to pay for their care, you may also have to deal with the added strain of coming up with ways to cover these costs. Planning ahead for long-term care needs can provide seniors and families with additional options for paying for care, including long-term care insurance.  

Even if your loved one is still relatively healthy, you should consider helping them come up with a plan for their future care. If the need for long-term care is more urgent, know there may be financial resources available that can provide your loved one with the proper care without causing you undue burden.  

For instance, if your loved one owns a home you can leverage that property to offset care expenses. FamilyAssets notes selling the home is usually the fastest and most efficient way to get the cash your family needs. Just keep in mind that you may need to take added precautions due to COVID-19. These added measures can include using online real estate tools, like 3D walkthroughs, virtual open houses and video-conference tours.  

Ensuring Compassionate Care Should Be a Priority  

Once you have the legal and financial matters sorted out, you can begin focusing on finding the right type of care for your loved one. For many caregivers, this can mean deciding between in-home care or residential options. In-home care for your senior or disabled loved ones can include non-medical home care, recovery care for injuries, home health care and respite care.  

The latter can be beneficial if you would like to provide care for your loved one on your own but may not be available 100% of the time. There are also gadgets that can ease your responsibilities, like the WalkWise smart walker attachment or a home security system. 

Hospice and palliative care may also be necessary for seniors who are affected by terminal illnesses. Residential care can include assisted living, skilled nursing homes and senior living communities.  

Of course, you will need to ask a few additional questions to ensure your loved one’s safety when transitioning during the pandemic. If you do decide that residential care is the best bet for keeping your loved one safe and healthy, also make sure you choose a compassionate and reputable facility.  

Making decisions regarding a loved one’s health and care can be challenging, especially when you are doing so during a global pandemic. Staying focused on practical steps, like completing legal paperwork, sorting out finances and choosing the right long-term care, can help you avoid any added emotional strain. Above all, choosing professionals you can trust is the most important step in keeping your loved one safe from COVID-19 while finding the right care.  

Turn to WalkWise for more information on helping seniors and their caregivers live healthy and balanced lives.  

Photo Credit: Pexels 

This blog was guest written by: Mary Shannon from seniorsmeet.org

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