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Developing a Care Plan

If you are the caregiver of an aging parent who is still living at home independently or living with you, you are responsible for most of the major decisions that need to be made regarding your parent’s immediate and long-term care. The day-to-day care of doctor appointments, taking care of bills, meal planning, and providing a social connection for your parent may make it difficult to find the time to draft up anything specific about future care. But having a care plan in writing that you can access when you need it, as well as having it available for anyone who might be helping you with caregiving – now or in the future – can provide a sense of security that your parent will continue to be cared for in the best way possible no matter what the future brings.

Once you’ve decided to draft up a care plan for your parent, you’ll want to sit down and discuss what it should all cover with the following people.

  • Other Caregivers. If you are sharing the responsibility of caring for your elderly parent, whether it’s with a sibling, an adult child or spouse, sit down together at the very beginning to discuss what your care plan will cover. Not sure where to begin? Many websites have sample care plans that you can use to begin the process.
  • Your Parent. If your parent is still able to have healthy conversations about his health, talk to him about what he would like in the coming years. Does he have specific treatments he doesn’t want applied to him? Does he have a favorite hospital or clinic he prefers to use? Does he have financial documents that he only wants specific people to have access to? When possible, honoring your parent’s wishes will make the process easier.
  • Your Parent’s Physicians. Your parent’s doctors and specialists can help you navigate complex medical decisions and guide you to a place that you’re comfortable with in planning out your parent’s care. You can ask about treatments and medications that should be referenced in the care plan.
  • Your Lawyer. If you are including items such as Power of Attorney in your care plan, you’ll want to make sure every part of this legal process is completed accurately. These types of forms are usually attachments to the actual care plan and can then all be kept in one place.
  • Home care providers. It is essential in a care plan that the home care providers who will assist your senior loved one know what their wishes and needs are. From medication reminders to special diet needs and preferences for a daily routine, home care providers need to made aware of all that caring for your loved one entails. Family caregivers can do the best they can, but at some point it will be beneficial for everyone that home care providers be there for your senior.

A care plan can be as simple or complicated as you like. Sometimes, it’s simply a sheet that lists what is the best way to care for your parent in case you’re not around. It may list his primary treatment resources, along with medication doses and therapy appointments. It can also be in depth enough to include Power of Attorney information as well as an Advanced Directive or Living Will. The important thing is it sparks these conversations and gets them in writing before an actual emergency happens or someone needs to make some quick decisions. It prevents rash decision-making and helps you and all of your parent’s caregivers make decisions that are well informed and mutually agreed upon.

If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring caregivers in Mesa, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!

Four Things to Try if Your Senior Won’t Stop Driving

If your elderly family member is determined to keep driving, you might have already tried logic, appealing to her emotions, and a host of other possibilities. But that doesn’t mean they got you anywhere. You may have to try some other options that are a little more complicated.

See if Her Doctor Has Any Pull with Her

Your elderly family member may not want to listen to you about driving, but there might be someone else she will listen to. If her doctor is able to convince your elderly family member to reconsider driving, this is worth a shot. Let her doctor know what you’ve talked about with your senior. There may be some other suggestions that her doctor can make that help you to get your point across.

Relocate the Car

Seeing the car, right there in the driveway or the garage, may be a reminder that your elderly family member and you could do without. If every time she sees the car she remembers that she wants to drive, it might be worth figuring out where else you can park the car. Talk to family members or friends who might have some space you could borrow for a little while. See if moving the car has the effect you’ve been trying to achieve.

Talk to Someone at the DMV

If your elderly family member knows that she no longer has a valid driver’s license, that may be enough to keep her from driving, too. Talk to someone at the Department of Motor Vehicles. They may be able to revoke her license based on some of her health issues. Or they may require her to take a written test, a driving test, or both in order to keep her license. The benefit of that is that you’ve got an impartial entity judging your senior’s ability to keep driving.

You May Have to Sell the Car

Finally, you may have to outright sell the car. Your elderly family member may no longer have a license and even that may not matter to her. Not having access to a car at all may be what finally gets through to her that you’re serious. If you don’t have the legal ability to sell your senior’s car, this may not be possible, though.

It’s not easy to have to tell your senior that she can’t do some things, including driving. As her caregiver, though, you’re responsible for helping her to stay as safe as possible.

If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring caregivers in Mesa, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!