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Navigating the complex journey of caring for someone with a chronic illness can be both rewarding and challenging. While treatment for the physical symptoms of a condition require careful planning and organisation, the emotional impact of chronic illness also plays a huge part in an individual’s overall wellbeing.

Care at home takes a holistic approach, addressing the physical needs while also ensuring independence. Also, it makes sure dignity and social connections are maintained. Research shows that individuals with chronic conditions are less likely to visit acute care hospitals or rehab centres when cared for at home. They are also less at risk of falls or mistakes with medication and their overall mental health significantly improves.

Home care can be provided by loved ones, home care services or often a combination of both. In this blog, we’ll offer some advice for those stepping into this role within the comforts of their own home.

Adeptly managing medications

Managing medications can be a challenge, especially if your loved one lives with several conditions that require different treatments.

A well-managed medication system can help an individual live a full life. This allows them to continue to do the things they love and empowers them to have control of their own health. The system coordinates, when planned carefully, around an individual’s various healthcare or social routine with minimal impact to their everyday lives. However, without a system in place, it can be easy to forget the correct times or dosages and the subsequent impact on their health can lead to complications.

Fortunately, there are many ways to organise medication for a chronic illness. The individual’s routine or preferences determines the decision over which method to use.

For those who prefer traditional pen and paper, mark important times and dates on a calendar or in a diary. Plus any useful notes. These should be easily accessible to the individual as well as their caregivers and loved ones.

However, today’s world also offers several digital solutions. For example, set a reminder on a phone or smart speaker. Also, there are apps available that keep track of medication. Many pharmacies also offer repeat prescription reminder services. Electronic pill dispensers are now available. Furthermore, organise all necessary tablets for each day of the week using a traditional case.

When your loved one is using home care services, record medication, when and what taken, . This is part of the regular care diary. In addition, note down any changes in behaviour or side-effects, no matter how small, as these can build a useful picture to consider in a care review.

Physical and emotional support tailored to the individual’s needs

For people living with chronic conditions such as diabetes or COPD, it’s not only the physical symptoms that can impact their lives. It can also lead to stress or anxiety. Also, the difficulty someone might experience when trying to get out and about can leave them feeling isolated. Effective home care of the physical and emotional symptoms of a chronic condition enables the person to live a rewarding life. Allowing them to live their life in their much-loved home and supported by the people they love.

A person with chronic illness that uses home care services, is provided with the emotional support and companionship that is crucial to their overall wellbeing. A close bond forms with a caregiver, who offers a listening ear to share worries. Therefore, providing reassurance or answers to questions. Practical support helps individuals join in with social activities. For example, help to get dressed and ready for the day or transport to lunch with friends.

Being at home in familiar environment, rather than in a hospital or other healthcare setting, makes it easier for loved ones to visit. Also, at a time that works around an individual’s routine or preferences. These social interactions and the ability to be around people that are loved and trusted will have a huge positive impact on the person’s emotional wellbeing.

Importantly, home care empowers an individual to be central in their own physical and emotional health journey. Home care can influence changes to how they are cared for and openly share what is, or perhaps isn’t, working for them. This ensures their care can be tailored to their unique needs.

Effectively coordinating care with external healthcare providers

Chronic illness conditions can often be complex and involve many doctors or specialists. Consequently, home care is regularly adapted to meet a person’s changing needs or circumstances.  If healthcare professionals share information about how a condition is evolving, the overall care offered can be more effective.

It’s useful to have a list containing the contact details of each specialist and the care they provide. This is to be shared with everyone. Therefore, ensuring all healthcare providers are in contact and able to freely share information about the condition. This will reduce the need to constantly repeat information. It will also ensure each provider has a full picture of the condition and how each part of an individual’s care will impact the other areas of their life.

This doesn’t just relate to medication or treatment plans. The effect the individual person’s care has on their daily routines and overall wellbeing are equally important considerations.

If you’d like more information about how to care for loved ones at home, or about the home care services Caremark Gloucester & Stroud offers, we’re very happy to speak to you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.


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