Setting Realistic Care Goals

The purpose of home healthcare is twofold. While you want to make sure basic care needs of your loved one are met, you also want to determine what you want to achieve with the care provided, whether it be retaining independence as much as possible or improving memory skills. Goals should be based on their current capabilities and overall health to avoid needless frustration for everyone involved.

Set Smaller Goals

While long-term goals are important, anxiety can easily build if those goals seem unattainable at the moment. Instead, break up larger goals into smaller goals that can achieved now. Encouraging a senior loved one to be more active, for instance, may start with going for short walks.

Write Goals Down

Make goals clear by spelling out what you and your loved one want to achieve to ensure that everyone involved is on the same page. This may include creating a color-coded chart or even a chalkboard so accomplishments can be checked off or erased from the list.

Seek Medical Input

Involve your loved one’s doctors in the discussion of home healthcare goals. They likely have a deeper knowledge of what’s realistically possible given your loved one’s current health status. This can include any specialists tending to your loved one who may have a more thorough understanding of what’s achievable.

Involve Your Loved One

Since care goals are centered around your loved one, they should have as much of a say in the matter as possible. Run everything past them first to be sure they are in agreement. If not, make compromises based on what they want to achieve personally. If they’re not fond of walking around the neighborhood, for instance, let them pick another activity like gardening or casual strolling at a local mall.

Be Flexible with Timeframes

Instead of saying you would like your loved one to show noticeable improvement by a specific period of time, be flexible to allow your loved one to reach goals at their own pace. Offer encouragement when you see them making any type of progress.

Care goals aren’t set in stone. Make adjustments as necessary. If you see improvement and notice that your loved one is meeting their goals, consider adding a few new goals to the list. If they’re struggling, consider other ways to achieve similar goals or experiment with different methods, such as playing memory games or using assistance devices to make tasks easier to perform.

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