Caregivers are often responsible for advocating for their loved ones’ needs. Whether in their home or from a distance, managing senior care involves many tasks. Burdens that fall on the caregiver can sometimes become overwhelming. Caregivers help with lots of tasks. From calling the insurance company or managing medications, caregivers have a valuable role. It’s a caregiver’s job to best advocate for their patient.
Resources for Patient Advocates
Advocating for your patient or loved one requires some learning. A Place for Mom offers great resources to support patient advocacy. Learning the best way to support your loved one takes time. Be patient with yourself and involve in your loved one along the way. Remember, the unique needs of each older adult will vary. Ask questions to find the best way to advocate for the elder in your life.
Some conditions, such as dementia, make a patient unable to advocate for themselves. That’s why caregivers step in as patient advocates! Home care workers are an important line of defense in many ways, including patient advocacy. Below are some of the few ways caregivers work as patient advocates:
Non-medical home care workers make sure patients take their prescription medications on time. This means managing complex medication schedules for patients who are unable to do so. Also, caregivers may transport clients to and from medical appointments and pharmacies.
Caregivers can help patients understand what each medication is for, how to take it, and when to take it. If they have concerns about drug interactions or side effects, they can call the client’s doctor or pharmacist. The goal is to help make understanding medication management easier for the senior.
Seniors with Sensory Impairments
Seniors who struggle with hearing difficulties or eyesight concerns may also need caregiver help. As seniors age, difficulties with senses can make personal care difficult. According to research by the American Family Physician, one in three seniors will experience eyesight concerns. This includes age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye-related difficulties.
Many seniors struggle to hear or need help with hearing aids. A home care worker can remind your loved one to wear his or her hearing aids. They may also
Another important role of a caregiver is to actively listen. Part of this requires being present in the moment. It means taking notes when something has changed. Perhaps they’ve noticed a change in mood in your loved one, or difficulty sleeping. Caregivers pay close attention to these changes. These can be symptoms of health issues
that need attention. Upon noticing these changes, the home care worker can take action.
Mental and Emotional Health
Another benefit of being present with our clients is the powerful effect of spending time socializing. When seniors know somebody cares about them and is going to spend time with them, their outlook can improve.
Many seniors seem to experience improvements in mental and emotional health with daily social interaction. They might open up, enjoy life more, or feel more invigorated to take an active role in their health.
The Importance of Advance Directives
If your loved one experiences a physical or mental impairment that interferes with their ability to make important health care decisions, discuss advance directives. This way, the home care worker can alert you when you may need to serve as a health care proxy for your loved one. For older adults with memory or mood disorders, creating an advance directive may be especially important. Your in-home caregiver can help you take the first steps to create this document for a loved one.
The Difference a Caregiver Makers
All in all, caregivers serve as patient advocates in a variety of ways. Home care can offer many benefits for older adults. From help with daily living to medication management, having someone to “watch over” and advocate for older adults goes a long way.
If you’re interested in learning more about Simply Compassion’s patient advocacy services, learn more by scheduling a consultation today. Your loved one deserves a caregiver that will advocate for them. We center an individualized plan specific to the needs of your loved one.