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How to Get a Handle on What Your Senior Needs

By: Lenora Alabi

If you’re still playing things by ear, you might be worried that there’s a lot that’s falling through the cracks as you try to take the best care possible of your elderly family member. Being able to pinpoint what she needs, when she needs it can help you to feel far more prepared.

Figure out Where Her Health Stands Right Now

Getting a handle on what your senior needs means understanding where she is right now, especially in terms of her overall health. Work with your senior’s healthcare team to make sure that you understand what she’s experiencing now in terms of her health and how her health is likely to change over the next few months and years. If there are serious health conditions involved, or ones that are terminal, you might be facing more ambiguity in a prognosis than you expect.

Look at What’s Going on with Safety

Your senior’s safety is the other major priority in terms of managing her needs. Safety covers a lot of ground, too, so it can feel overwhelming to try to figure out what’s what. Start out with anything that relates to general physical safety. For instance, is your senior’s home in need of any repairs? Is there any part of her home that is difficult for her to navigate? From there you can start to look at other safety concerns as you find them. Keep a running list so you can tackle the most urgent situations first.

What Does Your Senior Want?

You also need to talk to your elderly family member about what she wants. You might feel like you have a good handle on this already, but you could be surprised. It’s much better if you don’t operate under assumptions with your senior. As her openly what she wants from the rest of her life and what you can do to help her to accomplish those goals. Working together gives you a better chance of getting there.

Track Changes Somehow 

If you’re going to make sure you’re getting your senior what she needs, you need to have a way to keep track of what’s changing and in what ways so that you can see where you need to step in and try something different. Keeping a journal or even just a logbook of what happens each day and what’s new can give you a way to see those changes as they happen. Being able to track what’s changing also gives you a wealth of information you can share with other people who are helping your senior, like home care providers.

This can all feel really overwhelming at first, but it’s worth the effort to put a system in place that works for you and for your senior. 


IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING HOME CARE SERVICES IN CHICAGO, IL FOR AN AGING LOVED ONE, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT BRIGHTSTAR CARE CHICAGO. CALL TODAY: 312.382.8888.