Caregiving Resources

20 Questions Every Caregiver Should Ask

Over 50 million Americans provide care for a family member or friend who is ill, disabled, or aged every year according to the National Family Caregivers Associations. Many individuals will face this situation at some point in their life. Here are 20 questions to help determine if caregiving is right for you as well as how to evaluate your loved one’s condition. Click here to download the caregiver questionnaire free of charge.

Support

  1. Will you be the sole caregiver for your loved one?
  2. If you will have assistant caregivers for your family or friend, does your loved one have the names, emergency contact numbers, and addresses of the assistant caregivers? (i.e., other family members, friends, in-home care providers, etc.)
  3. Does your loved one attend activities outside the home (i.e., social visits, doctors appointments, church meetings, etc.) If so, when?
  4. Are other family members close to your loved one? Even if these family members are not caregivers, does your loved one spend time with them regularly?
  5. Does your loved one attend any social gatherings or faith-based meetings? If so, does s/he have the names and contact information of friends and acquaintances that attend the group meetings?
  6. Does your loved one receive any financial, medical, or personal assistance? If so, is the assistance permanent or temporary?

A Day in the Life

  1. Is your loved one able to get around the home? If so, does s/he use a wheelchair, walker, cane, or stability bars? If so, how often does s/he use any type of assistive device?
  2. Does your loved one have a day-to-day routine? Identify the activities based on difficulty such as bathing, traveling outside of the home, climbing up stairs, and cleaning.
  3. What kinds of activities does your loved one partake in? Does s/he have any favorite books, magazines or shows?
  4. Does your loved one have any dietary restrictions or special needs that need to be taken into consideration? If so, is s/he still able to go to the grocery store with assistance?
  5. Does your loved one own any pets? If so, can s/he provide proper care and nutrition for the pet(s)?
  6. Does your loved one take any medication? If so, what medications? Be sure to keep track of the medications, the dosages, and when to take them.
  7. Does your loved one have any difficulty taking medications? Address any challenges your loved one faces as well as any assistance s/he may need in taking medication.
  8. Does your loved one have health insurance? Does your loved one’s insurance cover all of his/her medical needs?
  9. Does your loved one have any trusts or wills? Are you able to locate these important documents if needed at some point in time?

Everyday Surroundings

  1. What type of building does your loved one live in? Does s/he live in the city, suburbs, or rural area?
  2. Does the size of your loved one’s space match his/her needs properly? (i.e., too small, too big, room to exercise, too much space to clean, etc.)
  3. Are there any physical barriers (i.e., doors, faulty walkways, stairs, etc.) that create a challenge in your loved one’s living space? If so, is there anything that can be done to eliminate any challenges?
  4. Does your loved one feel safe in their home? Is there proper security in place to evade unwelcome visitors (i.e., solicitors, scammers, etc.)?
  5. How far are your loved one’s neighbors? Are there any neighbors or other people in the area?

Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Medication

Many individuals are used to answering questions from doctors; however, it is common for people to forget to ask any of their own. You have the right to ask your doctors questions and advocate for yourself. In fact, many experts agree that you get the most out of your doctor’s visits by preparing questions ahead of time to ask your doctor. Our “Questions to Ask Your Doctor” guides can help you ask the right questions so that you understand the situation while at your appointment. It is just one more way we provide an excellent standard of care for you and your family.

  1. Will I need to take any medications?
  2. What kind of medication should I take?
  3. Does my insurance cover this medication?
  4. Am I able to take the generic form of the recommended medicine?
  5. What should I know about this medication?
  6. Are there any side effects?
  7. How do I know if the medicine is working?
  8. Is there a way I can remember when it is time to take this medicine?
  9. What will happen if I forget to take a dosage of the medicine?
  10. Should I avoid any foods, drinks, or other medications?
  11. Am I able to drink alcohol?
  12. How long will I need to continue to take my medication?
  13. Will I have to take this medicine indefinitely, and if not, what can I do to stop taking this medication in the future?

Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Cholesterol

Many individuals are used to answering questions from doctors; however, it is common for people to forget to ask any of their own. You have the right to ask your doctors questions and advocate for yourself. In fact, many experts agree that you get the most out of your doctor’s visits by preparing questions ahead of time to ask your doctor. Our “Questions to Ask Your Doctor” guides can help you ask the right questions so that you understand the situation while at your appointment. It is just one more way we provide an excellent standard of care for you and your family.

  1. How do I understand what my cholesterol numbers mean>
  2. What is the difference between “bad” cholesterol and “good” cholesterol?
  3. What should my ideal cholesterol be?
  4. How often should my levels be checked?
  5. What are the signs and symptoms of high cholesterol?
  6. Does exercise impact my cholesterol levels?
  7. Are there any types of foods I should be eating, and why?
  8. Will I need to take medication to lower my cholesterol? If so, what kind of medication?
  9. What does cholesterol medication do in the body?
  10. How long will it take for me to achieve my goal cholesterol levels?
  11. What happens if I eat healthy foods and exercise more and my cholesterol levels still do not go down?
  12. Where can I go to learn more information about high cholesterol?
  13. Is there anything more I need to know about my levels?

Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Pre-Surgery At The Hospital

Many individuals are used to answering questions from doctors; however, it is common for people to forget to ask any of their own. You have the right to ask your doctors questions and advocate for yourself. In fact, many experts agree that you get the most out of your doctor’s visits by preparing questions ahead of time to ask your doctor. Our “Questions to Ask Your Doctor” guides can help you ask the right questions so that you understand the situation while at your appointment. It is just one more way we provide an excellent standard of care for you and your family.

  1. What will the procedure or surgery consist of? Are there any potential complications or risks?
  2. What is your experience level in performing this kind of surgery?
  3. Will I be asleep during the entire portion of the procedure?
  4. Do I need to do anything to prepare for the surgery in advance? If so, how long before the surgery?
  5. Will I need to bring anything on the day of the procedure? If so, what?
  6. What should I expect to happen before my surgery?
  7. How long will my procedure take?
  8. What can I expect after the surgery?
  9. Are there any temporary or permanent side effects that I should be aware of?
  10. When will I be able to go home after the surgery?
  11. Are there any medications I need to take after the procedure? If so, how long will I need to take medicine?
  12. Is there anything else that I need to know about my surgery and recovery?

Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Your Blood Pressure

Many individuals are used to answering questions from doctors; however, it is common for people to forget to ask any of their own. You have the right to ask your doctors questions and advocate for yourself. In fact, many experts agree that you get the most out of your doctor’s visits by preparing questions ahead of time to ask your doctor. Our “Questions to Ask Your Doctor” guides can help you ask the right questions so that you understand the situation while at your appointment. It is just one more way we provide an excellent standard of care for you and your family.

  1. What is my ideal blood pressure?
  2. What are my options to control my high blood pressure?
  3. How often should I have my blood pressure checked?
  4. Should I use a home blood pressure monitor?
  5. Should I use blood pressure machines at local stores? If so, why should I?
  6. How does exercise impact my blood pressure levels? Are there any recommended exercises geared towards people with high blood pressure?
  7. What should my daily sodium intake be?
  8. Is there any sodium in the medicine I currently take? Is this a concern?
  9. Will I need to take medication for my blood pressure?
  10. Will I always have to take blood pressure medicine? If so, why?
  11. What is the name of the blood pressure medication? How should I take the blood pressure medication, and are there any possible side effects?
  12. Where can I go to learn more information about blood pressure?
  13. Is there anything more I need to know about my blood pressure?

What Is Alzheimer’s? Five Frequently Asked Questions

Alzheimer’s disease impacts over 47 million people worldwide at any given moment and the number is still growing. Experts in the field estimate that by 2030 more than 76 million people will suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association has dedicated June to Alzheimer’s Awareness Month to increase the amount of attention aimed at this degenerative cognitive disease. To help the cause, we’ve answered five of the most commonly asked questions about this fatal disease.

What causes Alzheimer’s disease?

Additional research is critical to understand what exactly causes Alzheimer’s disease entirely; however, it is known that the late-onset form of Alzheimer’s occurs slowly over a few decades based on a variety of environmental, lifestyle, and genetic factors. Having a close relative with this disease typically increases one’s chance of also having it; however, this is not a guarantee. It appears as though increasing age is the major risk factor along with diabetes and high blood pressure also playing a potential role.

What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?

Many individuals categorize this disease as unnecessary confusion and being overly forgetful; however, these symptoms are common amongst the aging society. The Alzheimer’s Association created a list of ten common signs of this disease, including a loss of memory that impacts one’s day-to-day life, challenges in solving problems or planning, and difficulty completing once familiar tasks. Be sure to note that these symptoms are more severe than normal cognitive decline as one gets older. A healthy aging adult might forget an important date or names and remember later on occasions whereas someone with Alzheimer’s has persistent difficulties in regards to their memory loss.

What’s the typical prognosis for Alzheimer’s?

People diagnosed with this disease typically vary based on the severity of the disease, the symptoms they experience, and their exact timeline; however, the diseases tend to have seven specific phases that categorize the decline which originally was designed by Dr. Barry Reisberg from New York University. The beginning stages start with symptoms similar to individuals aging normally and proceed to worsen through the stages gradually. The ending stage typically results in one having the inability to shallow and possibly breathe.

Is there a known cure for Alzheimer’s disease?

There is not a cure for Alzheimer’s; however, there are treatments to help ease the symptoms. There are two types of FDA-approved medications for this disease. These medications are designed to help lower mental confusion and memory loss; however, it does not reverse any underlying causes of memory loss. It is essential for more research to be conducted to help create a cure for this fatal disease.

How can I prevent Alzheimer’s disease?

As with most degenerative diseases, a healthy lifestyle that includes eating clean food, exercising regularly, and a healthy sleeping pattern may help you prevent Alzheimer’s. The most notable correlation between any illnesses and Alzheimer’s is high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Doctors recommend lowering these numbers and having your levels under control so that you can live a healthy life and hopefully prevent degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

The SIGMA Homecare team is here to make sure you have access to answers for any questions you may have about your family’s future. Please let us know how we can help.

Complimentary In-Home Assessment

Contact us today to schedule a free In-home care assessment with a SIGMA HomeCare team member.

Contact Us

Careers at SIGMA HomeCare

Looking to make a difference in people's lives? At SIGMA HomeCare you can do that every day.

Find Careers