Managing Multiple Comorbidities in Seniors
Taking care of a sick and aging loved one is always a challenge. When it comes to managing multiple comorbidities in a loved one, the challenge can take on new levels of complexity. Depending on your level of knowledge or experience with caring for certain illnesses or health issues, you may find yourself stretched thin or unable to take care of the individual effectively. Fortunately, there are some resources you can use and steps you can take to help manage the multiple comorbidities in your aging loved one.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, aafp.org, there is an acronym that can help with caring for these types of seniors: PACE.
AAFP recommends prioritizing the different issues at present. By identifying problems from most to least chance of causing serious health concerns, you can ensure that your loved one is receiving the best care for their most immediate concerns. This can also help you determine if you are capable of taking care of your loved one yourself, or if you need to seek help from a professional caregiver or someone with more medical training than you may have. This will also help establish how much time a day your loved one will need moderate to extensive care, which can be another indication of whether you may need to seek a caregiver to help treat your loved one.
It is important to involve your loved one in the decision making process when it comes to their health. By asking your loved one if they have any preferred methods of treatment, if they have any concerns they may not have already shared with you, and if they have any specific wants/needs, you are ensuring that they feel heard and are receiving the care they need.
Coordinate and Communicate
Coordination is especially important if you have employed a caregiver to help care for your loved one. By ensuring communication is open between you, your loved one, their doctor, and their caregiver, you can ensure that the care they are receiving is according to their specific treatment plan. This also ensures there is no confusion when it comes to what your loved one needs and what is being done to help with their multiple comorbidities.
Evidence-based Treatment Plan
It is important to ensure that your aging loved one is receiving an evidence-based treatment plan from their doctor and caregiver in order to ensure the best results from their treatment plan. By communicating with their doctor and caregiver, you can ensure that all their comorbidities are being treated properly and with the most ethics-based care.
Caring for your loved one with multiple comorbidities can be difficult, but it does not have to be impossible. Through research and the application of PACE as described by AAFP, you can ensure that your loved one is comfortable with the management of their multiple comorbidities.