San Diego caregivers are the single most important link in providing quality elder care for our clients in the home.
While medical and geriatric professionals are important to navigating the difficult obstacle course that is chronic illnesses, the only ones in the home of dependent elders on a regular basis are usually the care givers. Whatever plan is laid out by the doctors, nurses, social workers and even family, most of the time, the care giver is the one who is actually onsite with the elder and has to execute the plan.
That is a lot of responsibility. At very least, the caregiver is the only one who can notify the family, the doctor, the geriatric professionals that the plan is not being implemented or simply isn’t working!
Caregivers need to be educated as to what the plan is for their client. This means they need to understand what medications their client is taking and know what they are for. They need to be aware of when their client is not taking medications and report that to their supervisors who can in turn then notify the doctors or other professionals in charge. They need to be aware of the nutritional status of their client and be sure to provide the right diet as well as encourage their clients to eat. They need to be aware of their client’s skin condition and whether they are getting enough fluid of not. Dehydration can pose a huge health risk as it can contribute to low blood pressure and a host of other problems.
Caregivers need to be careful about safety issues in the home paying special attention to anything that may pose a fall risk to their client.
They need to be aware of any “changes of condition” especially changes in their client’s “level of consciousness,” and again be proactive in communicating this to their supervisors and care managers.
Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list but just long enough to make the point that caregivers are invaluable sentinels of elder health in a home and community based setting.
While care giving for home bound elders is not a “medical” role, it is however critical to the elder’s health and wellbeing that their non-medical caregivers understand that they need to be on their toes, aware and communicating all the aspects of their client’s care in order to meet what is an ever rising community standard for San Diego caregivers providing elder care at home.