In your role as a family caregiver, your primary responsibility is to help your loved one to manage their health and well-being, and live their highest quality of life possible as they age in place. This is especially important if your parent is living with a particular health condition that requires careful treatment and management, such as heart failure.
Taking the proper steps to help your senior manage this health issue will empower them to take care of themselves and help them to live the highest quality of life possible as they age in place. One important step in caring for your parent as they deal with heart failure is keeping records.
Keeping track of symptoms and how a health condition impacts your parent is important regardless of the type of health condition they experience. When they are living with a condition such as heart failure, however, it is even more important. Heart failure is a progressive condition. This means that it will worsen and change over time and may require changes in care and treatment to continue to manage properly.
Keeping records of how the condition is impacting your parent illustrates how their treatment and management approaches are working, and indicates when they may be suffering increase affects that may need the attention of their medical team.
Use these tips to effectively keep records as your parent is living with heart failure:
- Choose a notebook or binder where you will keep all information about your parent’s condition. Keeping this organized will give you easy access to the information and allow you to reference it when you need to.
- Clearly mark each page or entry into the notebook. For example, if you want to keep track of all of the symptoms and issues each day, mark each individual page with the date so that you can easily flip through. If, instead, you are recording each of the symptoms as lists, be sure to mark each one with the date and the time so that you can look for patterns.
- Provide as much information as you can about the symptoms. If you notice changes in your parent’s condition, such as swelling or fatigue, try to include as much insight as you can, such as what they were eating that day or if they were engaging in any type of additional physical activity.
- Talk to your parent’s doctor about what warning signs you should look for so that you know when you should call them. This can help to ease your mind and ensure that you are not only recording the right symptoms, but also interpreting them properly.
If you are concerned that your aging parent has needs and challenges that you are unable to meet effectively, your schedule or limitations have changed and altered your ability to give your senior the care that they need, or you simply feel that your parent could benefit from additional support, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them.
A home care services provider can step in to fill care gaps and meet needs that you are uncomfortable or unable to manage yourself. This can not only ease your caregiver stress, but can also ease stress and anxiety for your aging parent. Through the personalized services of a home care provider your parent can remain healthy, happy, safe, and comfortable, and pursue a more active and independent lifestyle as they age in place. This can support a better lifestyle and stronger relationship for your both of you.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Philadelphia PA, please contact the caring staff at True Direct Home Health Care today.
Doc, as he is called by everyone - staff, patients and clients - first experienced home health care and hospice care while as a colleg student at King's College as he cared for his mother every day while she first battled COPD and then lung cancer. It was during this time that he came to understand that caring for a patient was more than just clinical expertise.
"Admittedly, my strongest attribute is my communication skills and the simple fact that I love to help people. Even the smallest thing you can do for someone really can mean so much to them long term. In fact, it could change them forever. That's what providing quality personal home health care should be all about."
In his spare time, he cooks for homeless shelters and children's music and arts events. He also is highly involved in his local youth sports soccer academy as a coach and Board member.
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