Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Some Grandparents Day advice for care givers

National Grandparents Day is Sunday, Sept. 13, and it will mean different things to different people, depending on your circumstances.

For some, it means taking care of a grandparent. Fernando Gutierrez, bioethicist and patient advocate of Ethics 4 Healthcare, has some tips on care he offered in a recent media release::

Take care of yourself
Being the care taker can be a truly gratifying experience, but in order for this to be the case, it is essential that you remember to take the time to maintain your own health and well-being.  You cannot help others if you do not help yourself.

Learn as much as you can

Learn about your loved one’s illness or disability. The more you know, the less anxiety you’ll feel when decision making. Remember, he said, education equals empowerment.

Create a team of elderly care specialists

Seniors are often treated for a wide array of medical conditions. Navigating through the various types of physicians best suited for grandparent(s) can seem like a daunting task, but a patient advocate is trained to help you navigate through the maze.

Know your local non-profit resources

Non-profits help seniors with technology skills, social clubs, and more. And legal services organizations can helps senior with legal questions, like determining if they’re being overbilled, or simply questions about finances.

Trust your instincts
Remember, you know your family member best. Don’t ignore what doctors and specialists tell you, but listen to your gut, too.

Hire the right people
As a caregiver, you are essentially a project manager and you cannot do everything. For this reason, it is important to do your homework when hiring institutions, attorneys, social workers, therapists, etc. Research reviews, contact references and take your time when making your decisions.

“As a caregiver, you’re likely to face a host of responsibilities, many of which are unfamiliar or intimidating. But despite the challenges, care giving can also be very rewarding,” Gutierrez said.

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