UNIT IV. PREPARING FOR CAREGIVING
A caregiver is anyone who provides help to another person in need. Caregivers provide support to someone who needs help. Learning about being a caregiver may help you provide the care your friend or loved one needs. Usually, the person receiving care has a condition such as dementia, cancer, or brain injury and needs help with basic daily tasks. Caregivers help with many things such as: grocery shopping, house cleaning, cooking, shopping, paying bills, bathing, using the toilet, dressing, and eating. People who are not paid to provide care are known as informal caregivers or family caregivers. The most common type of informal caregiving relationship is an adult child caring for an elderly parent. Other types of caregiving relationships include: • adults caring for other relatives, such as grandparents, siblings, aunts, and uncles • spouses caring for elderly husbands or wives
• middle-aged parents caring for severely disabled adult children • adults caring for friends and neighbors
• children caring for a disabled parent or elderly grandparent ADVANCE CARE PLANNING
Knowing and understanding your loved one’s values and wishes will be important as you become responsible for making decisions for them. Advance care planning is the process that allows you to make decisions about the care you would want to receive if you happen to become unable to speak for yourself. Advance directives are tools that enable people to write down their preferences on a legal form and appoint someone to speak for them if they are no longer able. A living will, healthcare power of attorney, financial power of attorney, and a plan for funeral arrangements can help ensure peace of mind for your loved one and for you, the caregiver. HOME SAFETY
Hazards in the home are major causes of falls, fires, poisoning, and other accidents, such as those caused by improper use of household equipment (e.g., tools and cooking utensils). The appraisal of such hazards and suggestions for remedies is an essential nursing function. Many caregivers are supporting and caring for loved ones in their own homes, while others are caring for loved ones who are living in their own homes. Typically, most homes are not designed for caregiving. You may need to make some changes for the comfort and safety of all who live there, keeping these points in mind:
1. Safety of Client and Environment
• Walkways and stairways (inside and outside): Note uneven sidewalks or paths, broken or loose steps, absence of handrails or placement on only one side of stairways, insecure handrails, congested hallways or other traffic areas, and adequacy of lighting at night. • Floors: Note uneven and highly polished or slippery floors and any unanchored rugs or mats. • Furniture: Note hazardous placement of furniture with sharp corners. Note chairs or stools that are too low to get into and out of or that provide inadequate support. • Bathrooms: note presence of grab bars around tubs and toilets, nonslip surfaces in tubs and shower stalls, handheld showerhead, adequacy of night lighting, need for raised toilet seat or bath chair in tub or shower, ease access to shelves and water temperature regulated at a maximum of 49 degree Celsius (120 C). • Kitchen: Note pilot lights (gas stove) in need of repair, inaccessible storage areas, and hazardous furniture. • Bedrooms: Note adequacy of lighting, in particular the availability of night-lights and accessibility of light switches, ease of access to commode, urinal, or bed pan, and need for hospital bed or bed rails. • Electrical: Note unanchored or frayed electrical cords and outlets that are overloaded or near water. • Fire protection: Note presence or absence of smoke detectors, fire extinguisher, and fire escape plan, improper storage of combustibles (e.g., gasoline) or corrosives (e.g., rust remover). •...