Caring for a senior couple brings additional challenges for a caregiver. Depending on the care each senior needs on their own, it can quickly become overwhelming if the caregiver isn’t prepared.
When it comes to caring for a senior couple, knowing what activities they are comfortable doing and what they need help with must be established right away, so that you can decide what resources you need as a caregiver.
Here are some things to consider as a caregiver, how to find resources, and what your options are for giving a senior couple the care they need.
Considerations when caring for a senior couple
A helpful place to start could be determining the activities of daily living (ADL) to gauge the needs and independence of loved ones.
The ADLs refer to the skills required for independent living. An inability to perform any of these activities means there is a dependence on people or items to assist them in that area. Using these activities, you can determine where your loved ones need assistance, and the level of assistance.
The ADLs are:
- Moving and walking independently
- Ability to feed self
- Ability to dress self
- Personal hygiene
- Controlling bladder and bowel function
- Ability to use the toilet independently
After the ADLs, there are the instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). These include preparing meals, cleaning and shopping, paying bills, taking medications, and making phone calls. Combined, the ADLs and IADLs paint a picture that you can use to decide what you’re qualified for as a caregiver and where you need support.
Resources available for caregivers
Once you’ve determined where each person needs daily assistance, you can decide what to take on yourself. What are you qualified to do, and what are you reasonably able to accomplish on your own? Be honest with yourself and with those who are able to help you.
What do you need?
As a caregiver, it’s easy to forget where the needs of others end and where yours begin. You still need rest, nourishment, and time to run errands or socialize with friends. Hiring in-home help can allow you to still live your life while caregiving.
It can be easier for everyone if help comes in stages. If you’re proactive from the start, the transition throughout a senior couple’s life can be quite smooth. It might be helpful to have someone come in first for housekeeping duties a couple of times a week, for a few hours a day.
You can even see if there are members of your family willing to step in and help with errands, housekeeping, or visiting with loved ones while you run out for appointments and other needs.
As things progress, and depending on the health of the couple, you might need people to come into the home and help with moving, bathing, or keeping a watchful eye on your loved ones, especially if they struggle with memory loss.
What to do if a senior couple needs different levels of care
Caring for an elderly couple with different needs can work with diligent planning, organization, and help from home health aides or family members. But as health issues progress, it might become too overwhelming. Additional assistance and eventual relocation to an assisted living community may become the best option.
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and as temperatures drop for winter, it is important to be proactive with care before a health scare occurs. Begin conversations about extra assistance and senior living communities with the couple as early on as possible, so everyone knows what to expect when the time comes.
How The Kensington supports couples
When “aging in place” in the traditional sense is no longer an option for senior couples, The Kensington offers the best solution. In a beautiful, warm environment, The Kensington provides true aging in place for couples to enjoy their lives while receiving exceptional care and attention.
No matter the level of care an elderly couple needs individually or together, The Kensington is fully staffed to accommodate both of their needs. Nurses are on-site 24 hours a day, with specializations in memory care and movement disorders.
Life enrichment is a high priority, and during the coronavirus pandemic staff have made fun and engaging alternatives to activities for residents to enjoy. Additionally, all-day dining is available, with accommodations for all types of dietary needs.
Please call us for more information on our community, our staff, and how we are dedicated to providing the best care for senior couples during the pandemic and always. Our promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own, and we exemplify this in every possible way. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Additional Recommended Reading:
- Comfort and Joy: What Kind of Care Does My Senior Loved One Need?
- Addressing Senior Fall Risk Before Seeking Emergency Care
- Engaging with Senior Family Members This Holiday Season while Social Distancing