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Caregiving at Home: Understanding Daily Needs

Caregiving at Home: Understanding Daily Needs

Creating your own care assessment is the quickest and most efficient way to determine your loved one’s specific elder care needs. While each individual’s level of care is unique, Safeway Medical Supply presents the most important things to consider.

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According to reports, Millennials are more than willing to step up to care for their aging parents or loved ones. In fact, a recent study showed that one in two Millennials is ready to act as caregivers if needed. Many of these adults say they’d love for their parents to live with them, whether in their residence or in a separate home or “granny flat” on the property. And thanks to co-caregivers (siblings, other family members, neighbors, etc) and technology, caring for an aging loved one is a little easier.

Creating your own care assessment is the quickest and most efficient way to determine your loved one’s specific elder care needs. While each individual’s level of care is unique, Safeway Medical Supply presents the most important things to consider.

Daily Living Activities

When moving into your home or taking on in-house care, a senior may need help with day-to-day activities including housework, cooking, laundry, and shopping.

Ask yourself: Is he or she physically capable of doing these tasks without putting themselves or others at risk? Look for signs that indicate assistance is required, including severe arthritis, vertigo, or inability to walk without assistance.


Memory concerns, as well as waning manual dexterity, can make it more difficult for an older person to take potentially life-saving medication on time each day.

Ask yourself: Does my loved one forget to take daily medication on a regular basis? Sometimes, seniors may remain more independent by implementing a medication reminder in the form of an automated telephone call or timed pill box.


Hygiene is a sensitive subject for many seniors and one that may be embarrassing to discuss with family and friends. However, many older adults need help with personal care and hygiene.

Ask yourself: Has my loved one failed to provide for their own hygiene needs? Body odor, routinely wearing the same clothes for several days in a row, and fear of getting in and out of the bath or shower are some things that indicate assistance is required. Highgate Senior Living recommends approaching this touchy topic carefully; ask about personal preferences, and talk things through privately.

Legal and Financial Issues

If your loved one is showing signs of being unable to make sound legal and financial decisions, you may wish to attain power of attorney. A power of attorney is a document signed by the principal (the elderly person in question) that allows you or another designated agent to use his or her assets in a way you see best fit to provide for their needs. A durable power of attorney may be the wisest choice in case your senior becomes completely incapacitated. The AARP points out that your loved one may continue to make his or her own financial decisions after signing a power of attorney.

Ask specifically for information about debts owed by your loved one. Outstanding debts can impact their ability to pay for - or even qualify for - specific types of care. If debt collectors call, you may want to take steps to ensure the debt actually belongs to your loved one because the elderly are often victims of scams. If the debt is accurate, develop a plan with your loved one to address the debt in a safe and timely manner.

Ask yourself: What happens if my loved one suddenly becomes unable to make decisions on their own? It’s important that you have a solid understanding of your aging loved one’s credit history, including any debts that are owed, so that you can address these issues, especially if they are factored into your ability to get in-home or assisted living care.

Mobility Assistance

Mobility is defined as a person’s ability to safely move around his or her own home or neighborhood. It is often compromised with age and may require home modifications. Wheelchair ramps, stair lifts, walkers, lift chairs, and safety grab bars will help you and your aging relative move around with ease.

Ask yourself: Can my parents safely navigate hallways, stairs, and threshold/room transitions? For more information and advice on home safety, check out these home safety tips.


Seniors with visual or auditory decline may need assistance with everyday activities, such as reading labels and following the narrative of their favorite television program.

Ask yourself: Does my senior turn the television up to its loudest setting? Do they still enjoy reading the newspaper/books/favorite magazines? Audiobooks can help your aging parent continue to enjoy his or her “reading time” without straining their eyes. 


Eating healthy foods is a challenge for many people, especially older adults who cannot cook for themselves any longer.

Ask yourself: Has your aging loved one lost weight? Is the refrigerator stocked with a variety of fruits and vegetables? Are there multiple packages of expired foods?

A daily care checklist that includes medication, food, hygiene, and social activities will help your loved one retain some level of independence. Make this list based on their daily activities and work with them to ensure each item is marked off at the end of the day. Pay attention to steps they routinely forgo to get a better idea of areas where assistance is needed most.

For your medical supplies needed to care for your loved one, visit Safeway Medical Supply today!


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