Health Advocate Blog

You’re Not Alone: Tips on Caring for an Elderly Loved One

Caring for an elderly loved one often requires an abundance of time and energy. Being a caregiver can include tasks such as administering medications, transporting someone to doctor appointments, and trying to make sense of medical coverage and bills. For the caregiver, trying to meet these needs could lead to taking extra days off of work or even quitting a job.

If you are a caregiver for an elderly loved one, Health Advocate provides the following tips that can help you avoid handling caregiving duties alone.

If you are a Health Advocate member…

  • We can help. Our Personal Health Advocates can help you with caregiving needs, including:
  • Locating alternative care facilities
  • Obtaining coverage for medical supplies
  • Providing information on local adult day care programs
  • Coordinating coverage for home care services with insurance provider or Medicare
  • Locating private duty nursing and home health aides
  • Finding physicians who make house calls

Health Advocate members and non-members alike can benefit from these tips:

  • Get the family together. If possible, hold a family meeting to discuss the needs of your aging loved one. A social worker or other facilitator can help with difficult issues, such as placement in an assisted living center or a skilled nursing facility.
  • Discuss advance directives. Living wills detail medical care preferences. A power of attorney for healthcare document allows your loved one to designate another person to make financial or medical decisions, should they themselves become unable to do so.
  • Investigate eldercare products. Work with a case manager and/or insurance company to locate emergency call buttons, stair chair lifts, electric scooters and other helpful items.
  • Expect “live-in” adjustments. Be prepared for readjustments in mealtimes and sleep schedules, and to experience a “role reversal” in your relationship, placing you in a parenting type of role.
  • Find support for yourself. Local organizations may offer adult day care, emergency respite and support groups. Health Advocate’s “Helping You Help a Loved One” brochure lists some resources you can turn to for support.

As you are caring for your loved one, don’t underestimate the ability of others to help alleviate some of the day-to-day challenges associated with caregiving. Remember, if you have Health Advocate as a service, we can help address your eldercare questions and needs—give us a call today!