A chronic illness is likely to be something that your elderly family member has to deal with for the rest of her life. As such, it’s going to take a lot out of her, both emotionally and physically. How you and she cope with that over time is going to matter an awful lot.
Get as Much Information as Possible
One of the biggest keys to understanding any chronic illness and its impact on your senior has to be gathering as much information as possible. You do need to be careful, though, about overwhelming your senior about what you learn. She may not feel empowered by the information and instead winds up feeling as if she has no chance. So gather knowledge, but share it wisely.
Look for Support Solutions
Your elderly family member’s doctor is a key part of her support team, but she may need other members, too. Specialists and other medical professionals also make up the support team. But you’re a big part of her support team, too. Other family members, senior care providers, and other people who support her health can also be part of her support team.
Watch for Depression
is incredibly common among people who are battling chronic illnesses. The reason that depression can be such a big deal, other than the obvious problems that depression brings with it, is that your elderly family member might be less likely to do the things that help her to manage her chronic illness. When you stay alert for depression, you can help to forestall some of those effects.
Consider Those Tough Talks Sooner
Many chronic illnesses mean that your elderly family member’s approach to the end of her life might happen faster than she originally intended or it might happen in a different way than she anticipated. This is where those difficult talks about end-of-life decisions come in. They’re not fun to have, for you or for your elderly family member, but they’re definitely important to have so that you can understand your senior’s needs and her wants.
It’s also important that you remain aware of your needs as your elderly family member’s caregiver. Respite time is vital and helps you to be there for her when she needs you the most. Senior care providers can be there for you and for your senior to ensure that you get the time away that you need.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider caregivers provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.