Who cares for your dad? Your sister? Your brother? A niece or nephew? Whoever you have helping him out, you need to stay in touch with them. It’s important to communicate each day. Not only does it keep you updated on how he’s doing, but it also shows them you are involved. If they needed something, they’d be more likely to reach out to you.
Chronic health conditions are common. With them comes a level of decline that can be hard to predict. If your dad has Alzheimer’s, he may not decline for years and suddenly change drastically in a matter of weeks.
If you stay in touch with your dad’s carers, you’ll know when things are changing. You can be proactive and come up with a new care plan in advance rather than in an emergency.
Family caregivers always have the best of intentions. What gets overlooked is that situations can change. If your sister is caring for your dad and her husband loses his job, what happens now? She needs to help bring in an income. It means she’s going back to work and won’t be able to help. Who takes over?
Maybe your niece lived with your dad while attending college. She could take most of her classes online, so she was there for him. She’s about to graduate and enter the working world. Someone needs to take over for her. You need to know of changes like these as far in advance as you can.
The other thing to consider is that your dad’s health may change. If you’re staying in touch with his caregiver, you’ll know if things seem off. If he suddenly has headaches and is sleeping more, you can call his doctor and make arrangements to get him checked out.
Being in constant touch with your dad’s caregivers helps you to understand how he really is. You’ll have someone else’s opinion. You’re not relying on him being honest and not letting pride overtake common sense when something does seem to be changing.
Do your plans include having professional senior care services for your dad? With the right agency, you’ll be able to communicate regularly and see if the services he’s receiving are enough. Aging parents are good at hiding weaknesses. They don’t want you to worry. Hire a senior care agency and talk to a caregiver to assess exactly what services will benefit your dad the most.