4 Ways to Better Advocate for Your Older Loved Ones

4 Ways to Better Advocate for Your Older Loved Ones
A woman shows how to advocate for your older loved ones by sitting with her elderly mother at the doctor’s office and communicating with the doctor.

Being a better advocate for your older loved ones begins with these four tactics.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Serving as an advocate for your older loved ones is perhaps one of the greatest honors – and responsibilities – you’ll have as a family caregiver. It means fully comprehending their needs and wishes, and communicating them to those who can help to make sure they’re achieved.

If the role seems daunting and perhaps more than you feel equipped to handle, there are several things you can do to strengthen the skills you’ll need to be most effective.

Observe. It may seem to go without saying, but with a lot of things vying for your attention, it can be very easy to pay less attention than necessary to slight shifts in an older adult’s behaviors, condition, or mood. It’s helpful to first make sure your own self-care needs are met so you’re sharp and well-rested. Next, put into practice a system to take and share notes with any other members of the family or friends who are in close contact with the senior to be sure to detect any changes.

Communicate. Effective communication with medical, legal, or financial experts is a must to successfully advocate for your loved ones. Because these professionals are so busy, keep your communication style concise, clear, and to the point. Bring notes so you are sure to cover all the bases. Remain respectful, and keep in mind that listening is just as vital to good communication as talking. And, thank the professional for hearing you out and for their assistance in coming to the very best resolution.

Learn. Continue to educate yourself on the particular health condition(s) a senior loved one is battling, along with aging in general, and legal/financial matters. While you learn more, it’s expected that additional questions will surface. In the event that you can’t get the answers you require from one particular professional, try another trustworthy source until you have the understanding you need.

Be tenacious. Advocating for a senior member of the family effectively has been referred to as serving as “chief bulldog.” It means giving it your all, uncovering creative solutions to difficult dilemmas, always with the older adult’s best interests at heart. Be ready for frustrations to develop, and to have to advocate for exactly what your loved one needs!

First and foremost, keep a positive frame of mind, and surround yourself with a strong system of support, including the aging care team at Hired Hands Homecare. We are here to partner with you to ensure the absolute best quality of life for a senior you love. We also provide you with opportunities to take a break from your caregiving role to recharge and refresh – something extremely important for both your loved one and yourself.

Call us at (866) 940-4343 any time and let us know how we can help! We offer a free in-home assessment and creation of a personalized care plan that will help make sure all of your care bases are covered! We’re pleased to offer our services in Novato, Napa, Sonoma, and throughout the surrounding areas.

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Want to find out more about our senior care in California and how it can improve safety, comfort, and independence at home? Contact us at (866) 940-4343 to request a free in-home consultation to learn more about our customized care solutions in Novato, Pleasanton, Santa Rosa, Napa, Sonoma, and the surrounding areas.

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