Caring for an aging relative who has physical or mental limitations is always challenging. When you don’t live nearby, it’s extra stressful. You don’t have the luxury of driving over at a moment’s notice to check in on them in person. The challenge is greater if your loved one lives independently, rather than in one of Oklahoma’s many affordable assisted living facilities. The following five tips will help you care for your loved one with the least amount of stress.
The most important thing to remember when caring for your loved one is you cannot do it alone. A huge benefit of transitioning your loved one to affordable assisted living in Oklahoma City is assisted living centers have caring, skilled teams of people to help you. If your loved one lives alone and you have siblings or other relatives who love him, work together to divide and conquer. Just because you are the designated primary caregiver doesn’t mean you must shoulder the burden alone. The more people you can enlist, the better the results will be. An added benefit is your loved one will feel more connected with those he loves.
Caregivers quickly learn there’s a lot of paperwork associated with the job. Expect to compile a great number of doctor’s appointment reminders, insurance forms, bills, legal documents, bank statements, brochures detailing assisted living options in OKC and other important papers. Store everything in one dedicated place, ideally in individually labeled files. Knowing exactly where to go for the information you need will reduce stress and save precious time. Make sure others involved in making care decisions know exactly where to find pertinent documents.
You’ll be better able to help your loved one and to empathize with him if you fully understand all of his medical issues. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to talk to your relative’s doctors and make informed medical decisions on his behalf.
Because you can’t be there in person, you’ll need to rely on an in-home care provider or Oklahoma assisted living facility to be your eyes and ears. It’s important to check in with providers regularly so you’ll be able to spot any problems early on. Many seniors avoid telling their long-distance caregivers about problems they’re having because they’re afraid of being a burden. Talk your loved one but also to outsider parties who will tell you the truth about how he’s doing.
It’s easy for caregivers to get caught up in logistics and red tape and forget why they are doing what they’re doing. You have taken on this huge role because you love the person you’re caring for. Carve out time to enjoy each other’s company without discussing doctor’s visits, illnesses and problems. These moments will help to center you and feel less resentful of the challenging role you’ve taken on.
If you’re experiencing caregiver fatigue, we encourage you to research assisted living options in OKC. Contact us at Village at Oakwood to learn more about what we can offer your loved one.