10 Helpful Tools for Senior Caregivers

Do you provide care for a family member in need like an aging parent? You’re not alone. In fact, there are over 34 million family caregivers in the U.S. who help a loved one over 50 years old out with tasks like getting to doctor’s appointments, making food, refilling prescriptions, handling finances, and even skilled nursing duties (like dressing wounds).

When it comes to keeping it all together as a caregiver, don’t forget about all the helpful tools and devices you can use to track your loved one’s health, simplify meal times, organize medicine, and more. Check out this quick top 10 list:

Home Health Tools

Being able to monitor key health indicators equips caregivers with the knowledge they need to provide even more comprehensive care to their loved one as well as find peace of mind. Vital signs like temperature, pulse, and respiration rate can serve as frontline measures of your loved one’s well-being while additional metrics like blood pressure and blood sugar can help the millions of seniors with hypertension and high blood pressure stay on track with treatment. Make sure you stock your loved one’s home health kit with these tools:

  • Thermometer: easily check for fevers or temperature changes that might accompany an illness.

  • Blood pressure monitor: routinely record accurate blood pressure readings so you’re alerted if something rises or falls to dangerous levels.

  • Pulse oximeter: measure pulse rate as well as oxygen saturation rate to evaluate if your loved one is in distress.

  • Blood sugar monitor: with over 25% of seniors living with diabetes, monitoring blood sugar will definitely be a priority for many caregivers of aging parents.

Medication Organizers and Reminders

Keeping track of complicated medicine schedules is a tough job for caregivers, much less the seniors for whom they care. Everything from similar drug names and appearances, to varied dosing and frequencies, poses a challenge to seniors getting the correct medicine they need every day at the right time. These tools can help:

  • Pill organizers: simple plastic cases you find in the drugstore allow caregivers to sort and organize medicine by day and time in color-coded compartments.

  • Pill reminder apps: download apps like MediSafe or CareZone to you and your loved one’s smartphones to record medicine schedules, track prescription refills, and get reminded when it’s time to take medicine.

Nutrition and Meal Support

Millions of seniors experience decreased nutrition as they age. Many chronic illnesses can affect a senior’s ability to swallow comfortably, reduced thirst commonly leads to dehydration, and preparing 3 meals a day simply becomes more challenging with age, especially if mobility issues are involved. Help your senior stick with a healthy and full diet with tools including:

  • High-powered blender: Getting your loved one the nutrition they need is often easiest with smoothies and shakes packed with whole foods (spinach, avocado, banana, berries, greek yogurt, etc).

  • Meal planner: Whether it’s an application on their computer or simply a printed schedule on the fridge, a plan for the meal’s weeks can help with grocery shopping, preparing food, and giving your loved one inspiration to eat healthier.

  • Food delivery apps: For those times when getting to the store or fixing dinner simply isn’t in the cards, use food delivery apps like Instacart or Amazon Prime Now (for groceries) or UberEats or GrubHub (for ordering food from nearby restaurants).

One final and very important tool for caregivers is anything which helps you relieve stress and find calm among what can be a very chaotic role in life. Your options are bountiful – adult coloring books, aromatherapy diffusers, a shiatsu massage pillow, a mat for practicing yoga, knitting needles and yarn, you name it. While rewarding and fulfilling, caregiving also comes with its share of stress and social isolation. Finding healthy and creative ways to redirect anxiety will always be in your best interests.

Joe Fleming is the President at ViveHealth.com. Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle, he enjoys sharing and expressing his passion through writing. Working to motivate others and defeat aging stereotypes, Joe uses his writing to help all people overcome the obstacles of life. Covering topics that range from physical health, wellness, and aging all the way to social, news, and inspirational pieces…the goal is help others “rebel against age”.

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One Comment

  1. Posted June 26, 2018 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    Caregivers should be a friend first. Sharing stress and other social issues is the best way to understand each other. Don’t consider that as a big responsibility.

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