Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!
Caregiver and Chronic Disease Monitoring and Management
Chronic health conditions can make everyday responsibilities challenging for older adults. Chronic health conditions are defined as ongoing and lifelong. Many chronic diseases generally offer a prewarning. Pre-warnings that are often ignored by the hearer. Here is one example. Have you heard the words…pre-diabetic or pre-hypertension? The prefix PRE is the yellow caution flag telling you to slow down and change directions. Once PRE changes to CHRONIC, managing the health condition is lifelong, in most cases, controlled by an array of treatment options and guidance.
Caregivers, with a lack of knowledge about chronic health conditions that your loved ones may have can also be challenging. When one is thrust into the role of taking care of someone, the need assessment is often not fully known. This can be problematic! Many chronic conditions require a working knowledge base on medication, nutrition, and skin care, just to name a few.
Since, 1985, as a nurse since, I blessed to have practiced professionally and in a personal role, (Read more in my book: From The Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor) and taking care of thousands of patients, including my mother, my expertise is broad. While working in the acute care setting and working alongside of talented practitioners, like Dr. Denton Cooley, I learned about cutting edge medicine and evidence-based practices. I kept my mother out of the hospital because I managed her chronic needs in the home, appreciative of my knowledge and acquired skill set.
So, you may ask, what chronic conditions do I focus on and when should caregiver antennas be raised? My answer…all of time, all the time. There are so many health conditions deemed chronic. However, there are several that remains front and center. For example, heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and one rarely talked about, seizure health. Each of these require a knowledge base on medication and the route of administration, nutrition (some foods are contraindicated), weight management, and lab work for medication adjustments. I know, caregiving is a lot of work and a lot to know. As your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, I can help.