In India, the primary caregivers for a patient are family members, who consider it pivotal to look after their loved ones at all stages of the illness. The lack of structural and formal institutional services and welfare support organizations leaves no alternative for family members. Due to ongoing societal expectations and orientation, much is expected out of caregivers in India, who continue to face the strain of these and other shortcomings. If the numbers are to be believed, 68% of daughters-in-law take upon the role of caregivers for the elders in their family. Up to 29% of these, including sons and daughters, find it burdensome to provide care to their parents.
The current state of healthcare in the country is marginally outlined by a shortage in the number of qualified doctors and a reactive state of healthcare systems. Combine this with 62.4% of out-of-pocket health expenditure, and you will get the answer to why elder care is concentrated in the hands of family members.
The emotionally overwhelming task of taking care of your parents or loved ones can put a strain on your physical as well as mental health. Health awareness is a subject that is neglected by many in India, which is why most people aren’t well equipped with the appropriate information about caregiving. It becomes critical to understand details about monitoring, diet, nutrition, exercise, tracking, and syncing when you undertake the obligation to give care to someone. Your burden might reduce to an extent with the aid of digital healthcare solutions.
What You Should Know as a Caregiver
1. Consider health and family history
You might be surprised to discover a few things when you ask your parents about their medical records or health history. After all, it is not every day that most of them go about telling everyone about a childhood sickness or a sudden surgical procedure. You need to compile a list of all the details, as they can have an impact on the patient’s current diagnosis.
This list will be useful for discussion purposes with the doctor who will refer to it before prescribing medication or suggesting any treatment. It is common to find patients who are reluctant to share every detail about their medical history, even with their children. Alternatively, some people may consider specific details too irrelevant to bring them out. As a caretaker, you must encourage the patient, who may have a chronic illness or any other health issue, to share as much information on this matter as they can. It might make the difference between success and failure with different treatments.
2. Give the patients goals
As a caregiver, you will be charged with the duty to encourage the recovery of the patient. You must talk to them and describe the course of treatment in words that give them the willingness to emerge from their medical state. Speaking terms of technical jargon might only make them anxious and, in contrast, discourage them from complying with the treatment plan. Instead, go for the classic approach and attempt to motivate them with the prospects of healthy days and family bonding.
3. Bridge the gap with doctors
As a caretaker, you will be the primary person that interacts with the doctor and the patient. You might be inclined to ask the healthcare professional about certain aspects of the medical procedure. More importantly, even if you hold back on your doubts and curiosity, you will still need to determine how best to keep track of the progress of the patient.
Here are a few questions that you may ask the doctor:
- At this phase of the treatment, what should I expect from the ensuing procedure prescribed by you?
- Should I have my patient evaluated by any other physician or medical institution?
- How can I help them recover from this condition?
- Do we know about any physical limitation to my loved one’s recovery at this stage?
- Are there any residual effects of the procedures that are being administered to my loved one?
Although you may not always get a direct answer to every question, you can expect a reasonable response from the doctor to these and other queries.
4. Understand important patient vitals
As a caregiver, you will be charged with the responsibility of monitoring various minute details about the healthcare process. This includes checking and keeping a record of vitals, such as blood pressure levels in case of heart disease, insulin levels in case of diabetes, rate of urination in case of chronic kidney disease, and more. You will also be required to keep track of different appointments with doctors, dates for medical tests, receiving lab reports, and consulting with the doctors and dietary intake of the patient.
5. Prioritize your mental health
In India, acting as a caregiver is no easy task. Research suggests that 14% of people responded to rarely feeling happy or willing to care for elders. From managing time to balancing the emotional and physical stress, caregiving is a daunting task that can test your endurance. Added to this are the ever-increasing financial costs and societal constraints that can act as barriers to getting the best healthcare possible for your patient. Before you become a victim of depression and isolation, it is vital to seek help from capable doctors and the community, which can bring major relief. Seek a reliable hospital with scope for insurance utilization, which might ease the pressure.
How Phable Strives to Help Caregivers
With the rapid boost in IoT and AI investment in India, predictive medical diagnosis is gaining recognition. In the age of technological superiority, digital healthcare solutions have emerged to offer amicable alternatives to caregivers in India. Today, an array of FDA approved solutions in the domain of digital healthcare have impacted the medication and treatment of patients, effectively improving the medical landscape. The disruption of software and internet-based devices has allowed scope for continuous care through early detection and treatment synopsis.
On its journey to bring a radical reorganization in the healthcare sector, Phable is working through many bottlenecks to bring sophisticated and reliable digital solutions in India. Having formed a chain of networking with multiple hospitals and professionals, Phable makes it possible to seek professional help for caregiving, which can effectively balance your obligations and make it easier for you to care for a loved one!