It is important to stay in touch with the community team members, visit regularly, and attend care plan meetings to ensure your loved one is receiving the best possible care. Washing your hands, wearing a mask, and following the center's guidelines are also essential to keep your loved one safe. Be patient if they resist changes and explain why these measures are so important. A few changes can make them happier and healthier for longer. Most patients have family members who provide some level of care and support.
For older adults and people with chronic disabilities of all ages, this “informal” care can have a considerable scope, intensity, and duration. Family care raises safety issues in two ways that should concern nurses in every setting. First, caregivers are sometimes referred to as “secondary patients” who need and deserve protection and guidance. Research that supports this perspective of the caregiver as a client focuses on ways to protect the health and safety of family caregivers, as their care requirements expose them to a high risk of injury and adverse events. Second, family caregivers are unpaid providers who often need help to learn to become competent and safe volunteer workers who can better protect their family members. People who are very frail and who are below or near the poverty line can receive home care through Medicaid. Given and collaborators19 describe that it was not the amount of care itself, but rather the change in care demands (whether increasing or decreasing) that caused caregivers to suffer.
Caregivers may also stop providing care when they are unable to maintain a relationship or when care becomes difficult, such as when the caregiver loses cognitive function. In these situations, interventions such as role-playing games and rehearsals are designed to help the caregiver better understand how to communicate with the caregiver and how to manage negative reactions, or to remove the caregiver from a dangerous situation as a caregiver. Smeenk and his collaborators80 investigated the quality of life of family caregivers who received a home care intervention that consisted of a specialized nurse coordinator, a 24-hour nursing telephone service with access to a home care team, a collaborative home care file and file, and care protocols. Medicaid-funded consumer-directed care programs are emerging: options are emerging to organize flexible services, allowing people to select and manage paid home care workers, as well as to purchase assistive devices or home modifications. Research using carefully selected initial cohorts is needed to understand variations in care demands. Evaluating the home and family care situation is important to identify risk factors for elder abuse and neglect.
For example, it is often not easy for the hospitalized elderly patient who is going to need post-acute care to accept the need for family help, because they consider themselves independent. Research is needed to understand the quality of care provided by family members and then to determine how that care affects patients' overall treatment plan and clinical outcomes. Due to a lack of knowledge and skills, family caregivers may not be familiar with the type of care they must provide or the amount of care needed.