care at home for older people

Helping Older People Take An Active Part in Health and Care Plans

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How can you feel more independent and more in control when you’re receiving care in your own home? Take a look at our tips on how a live-in carer can help older people take a more active part in their care plans.

Older people who choose in-home care often make this choice in a bid to retain a level of independence. This independence should also extend to the care and medical treatment they receive.  People who are active in the management of their health and care are more likely to accept and maintain the plans.  The feeling of having input into decisions regarding care and treatment is beneficial in improving quality of life and overall independence.

How Carers Can Help

Encourage people to voice an opinion with regard to their care plan. Older generations were used to an era where the patient is told what to do by doctors or healthcare providers. And having little or no input into the style of care or type of treatment they receive. 

Times have now changed. People achieve better outcomes and quality of life when they take an active part in improving their health.

Benefits for people involved in care decisions include reduce hospitalisations and improved relationships with providers. People are also more satisfied with, and accepting of, help when medical treatment is required.

Carers can help by providing information to enable people to participate in their care and medical choices.  Ensuring that information is available in a variety of formats will provide maximum opportunity to engage with accurate data. Allowing those eager to access correct facts to do so, and for those more reluctant, carers can spend time with them, asking them questions to find out why and help them to see the benefits their input can have. 

Make It Manageable

Reluctance may be due to feeling overwhelmed at the enormity of the decisions or people may say only what they think carers and health professionals want to hear.

It might be wise to break down the decision process or task into smaller bite-sized chunks. Deal with smaller issues to solve the bigger problem.  It may be that new medication is required and reluctance is through fear or lack of understanding. Everyone should be allowed time to read and learn, allay fears and start changes gradually if possible. 

If weight loss being required to allow a surgical procedure, do not set or accept unrealistic targets. Intense dieting and exercise programs will be a huge challenge and therefore likely to fail.  Break down the task into easily achievable targets, before moving on to the next. Build up enthusiasm and momentum towards the goal.

Address Barriers

Live-in care and home care service providers are in the ideal position to help those in their charge identify and work around barriers dictating their actions.  It may be necessary to accept personal preferences and practices alongside the prescribed course of medication. Providing no harm is caused, this can enable progress and provide the appropriate level of care.

Promoting inclusion and independence in decision-making will help in the overall management regarding personal care and health, And ultimately improve life quality.

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