When an elderly family member starts to fail in their cognitive abilities, and home care assistance is required to help out with their daily needs, it is easy for family members to feel like they are missing out on aspects of their loved one's life. However, by taking a few simple steps, your loved one's care assistant can make sure all family member remain up-to-date in the important aspects of your loved one's life. Here are two ideas to discuss with the home care assistant to help achieve this communication goal.
Care assistants get busy during the day, so by the end of the week, it's quite possible that they may forget the smaller details of how your loved one is getting on. One way to get around this is to provide the assistant with a notebook they can jot points into. In particular, ask the assistant to make a note of things like:
- Favorite TV shows your family member is enjoying watching.
- Changes in food likes and dislikes that are noticed during the week.
- Comments made by the family member of people they would like to see or hear from.
When these points are recorded and relayed to you and other family, it opens up avenues of discussion you can have with your loved one. Additionally, if there is a new favorite TV show or food your family member likes, you can arrange to buy these items and have them sent to their home. Of course, if you want to buy the TV show on DVD, you will need to make sure they have a DVD player first!
Technology has come a long way in the past five years, and you can purchase a basic tablet for under $100 these days from many of the mass merchant retailers. Purchasing a tablet and asking the home care assistant to use it regularly can help keep the lines of communication open in two ways.
Firstly, upload current photos of family members onto the tablet so these can be shared with your loved one. This helps to remind them of who their family members are and the mental association of a name to a face. Secondly, use the tablet to Skype with your loved one while the home care assistant is there and able to assist with answering the call. Skyping enables family members from all around the world to keep in touch, and helps your family member feel less isolated in their home.
Talk with your loved one's home care assistant about other ways to keep the lines of communication open so that you can help make sure your loved one never has to feel left out or alone.