No Voice Left Behind

It is a difficult decision to make when you reach out for help in caring for a loved one. The goal each family reaches for is peace of mind that their loved one will be cared for compassionately, at the same time fearing that the family will lose their voice on how to care for loved ones. One thing you should not forget in this transition is your freedom of expression. There are several different ways you can express your thoughts and concerns so that you can make sure your voice remains heard whether you live in the home, outside the home, or want certain procedures set forth in case an event happened to your loved one.

Be involved in the care plan and be detailed. This is important because this is going to set the foundation of care received by your loved ones. When a caregiver is placed, the care plan is what they have to identify what needs they will address and attend to in the household. Don’t be afraid that you are asking too much and be detailed; you know what needs have to be met to ensure quality care for your loved one. When my grandfather was hospitalized we were put in that situation of creating the care plan for someone to help my grandpa stay independent in his home which allowed us to remain as family members. When my family and I started creating a list of needs and wants, we made sure to be detailed for how my grandfather did his daily routine so that he wouldn’t be reluctant receiving the help he needed.

Be aware of when changes need to be made and communicate those changes. Changes are inevitable in everyday life from medications, needs of care, to the person working in the household. If you feel that a caregiver in your home does not make a good fit with regards to the needs of the household, it is okay to voice that to the agency. The ultimate goal is to provide that quality of care your loved one needs. Other changes could be that your loved one needs more help than originally planned and could be becoming too much for your family to handle. If you need the additional care it is okay to speak up and make necessary changes to the plan of care. Other important changes that can happen is medication and diet restrictions. We know that sometimes our loved ones can be quite stubborn to some of those changes but speak up! My grandpa for example had to get put on a carbohydrate restriction after a recent hospitalization and he was very reluctant to give up some of his favorite traditional foods. It was a great relief on us that the caregiver that came into the home was able to work around those restrictions and keep my grandfather happy.

Whether you are involved directly with your loved ones care, or just involved in setting up the care your loved one needs; always know that your voice is important when it comes to having the needs met, or how you would like your loved one to be taken care of. Sometimes the only voice your loved one has is through you, make sure that voice doesn’t get lost.