Developing a care plan starts with involving your elderly relative or friend in the discussion as much as possible. First, consult a health care professional (such as a doctor, nurse or an occupational therapist) to complete an assessment of areas where your elder may be at risk, and to advise you about the options available. The most common forms of support needed are:
personal contact and emotional support through visits, phone or email
help with errands, appointments and household maintenance
help arranging for and coordinating services provided by professionals
Next, ask yourself whether you are physically, mentally and financially able to give the care yourself, or if you are more comfortable arranging for care to be delivered by someone else. A comprehensive plan is based on the needs and abilities of everyone involved. Remember that your elderly loved one may be anxious about what lies in the future, so be gentle and supportive as you move through this planning process. Don't be surprised if there is resistance to these discussions. You may need the help of some other trusted person(s) to keep the process on track.
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