As a caregiver, you can't always make your loved one healthy. But by making sure that he or she gets good medical care -- and fostering a healthy environment and lifestyle -- you can make a real difference. Here are some key caregiving tips.
Medical care. Make sure your loved one gets to doctor appointments. Caregivers may also want to tag along to at least some appointments and serve as medical advocates. Come up with a list of questions and concerns to discuss with the doctor beforehand...
Did a particular event cause you to make the decision?
Did an article you read in the newspaper or something that happened to a
family member make you think about it?
Is the decision part of a broader effort on your part to prepare for the
end of life, for instance making your last will and testament for distribution
of your property?
What is motivating you to take these actions now?
Sometimes sharing your personal concerns and values, your spiritual beliefs,
or your views about what makes life worth living can be as helpful to your
agent as talking about specific treatments and circumstances. For example:
How important is it to be to be physically independent and to stay in your
own home? Independence can be extremely important to some and maybe less
important to others.
What aspects of your life give it the most meaning?
How important would it be for you to be able to recognize people or
interact with them?
What are your particular concerns about dying? About death?
How do your religious or spiritual beliefs affect your attitudes toward
dying and death? Would you want your agent to take into account the effect of
your illness on any other people?
Should financial concerns enter into decisions about your treatment?
Would you prefer to die at home if possible?
These are not simple questions and your views may change. It is important
that you review these issues with your agent from time to time.
WebMD Medical Reference from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization