If you have parents or grandparents who are no longer able to live on their own, you may be trying to find a way to take care of them.
It can be challenging because they may experience various health conditions, and they might not be able to communicate well with you when their symptoms appear.
According to a survey report, around 17% of the population of the United States of America was above the age of 65 years in 2020, and it is estimated to reach 22% by 2050.
This figure shows that the increasing number of elderly will surely, accelerate the demand for family health practitioners. If you want to make sure that your elderly is in good health at all times but lack the time or expertise to do so, then hiring a family health practitioner would be an excellent idea.
How Is A Family Health Practitioner Different From A Nurse Practitioner?
Family health practitioners are RNs (registered nurses) who have completed an advanced post-graduate program in primary care.
After completing a bachelor’s degree, these nurses complete additional training to become family health practitioners and to be able to provide care for the whole family. Family health practitioners can work independently or as part of a team with other health professionals.
On the other hand, a nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who can practice medicine without a physician’s supervision. Nurse practitioners are often primary care providers but may also specialize in areas such as geriatrics or pediatrics.
Both FHPs and NPs are licensed to practice medicine. But FHPs are trained in family medicine, while NPs have different specialties.
People often confuse family health practitioners (FHP) with nurse practitioners (FNP) because both can be registered nurses; however, there is a key difference between the two professions.
While both are considered primary care providers, aspirants usually ask how to become an FNP. To be an FNP, nurse practitioners receive further education beyond their initial nursing degree.
It allows them to diagnose illness, prescribe medications, and order diagnostic tests independently from physicians.
A Family Health Practitioner can provide nursing care. Nursing care involves administering medication and conducting wound care.
The family health practitioner can also provide physical therapy, a form of treatment designed to improve or maintain strength, mobility, and overall physical functioning in patients.
Lastly, they can provide home health care services that help the elderly with daily-living activities, such as dressing themselves or preparing meals.
Keeping Track Of Seniors’ Medications And Physician Appointments
The first thing to do is make sure you know where all of your elderly patient’s prescriptions are. It includes what medications they take and any vitamins or supplements they might be taking.
According to reports, around one-third of elderlies in the US visit at least five doctors in a year for different health issues. It makes it quite confusing for them to remember the next appointment schedule and each doctor’s prescription.
A family health practitioner can bail them out of this situation. Next, it’s crucial to keep track of their physician appointments so that you can follow up with them when they return home.
It may also be helpful to have a calendar that lists all of their appointments and upcoming doctor’s visits, making it easier for them to understand when they’re supposed to see the doctor again.
It’s also important for you as a family caregiver to know what information needs updating based on changes in health or lifestyle habits over time.
Providing Nutritional Meals
One of the most critical aspects of senior health care at home is proper nutrition. Ensuring that your elderly loved ones receive an adequate intake of vitamins, minerals and nutrients is essential for keeping them healthy and happy throughout the years.
According to sources, an average moderately active senior adult needs 1,600 to 2,000 calories daily to stay healthy. To do this, it’s necessary to understand what food they should eat and how often.
Eating enough calories each day is a great way to keep up energy levels in seniors, but this can be difficult if their appetite has decreased due to pain or other medical issues like arthritis.
You must also check on them regularly to ensure they’re eating their meals because they don’t feel like eating right now or don’t have an appetite. In either case, you should make sure they are getting some form of nourishment every day.
It will help keep their body functioning properly while keeping hunger at bay. As a result, they can focus more effectively on other tasks around the house without having constant cravings distracting them from everything else.
Household Assistance Including Laundry, Cleaning, And Gardening
You may have a family health practitioner who can help you care for your elderly at home. A family healthcare professional can also help with household chores such as laundry, cleaning, and gardening.
Some people prefer to hire someone for the job to focus on caring for their loved ones without having to worry about other things like doing the laundry or cleaning up after meals.
If you are considering hiring someone to take care of these tasks, it’s best if you find someone willing to work with your expectations.
Make sure that they are willing to learn new things from you, too, because there might be times when you need them to do something different than what they do at home. It would be best if both parties were willing to compromise when necessary.
Providing Social Companionship
One of the biggest benefits that a family health practitioner can offer is providing social companionship to the elderly. Many seniors live independently, making it difficult to make friends or leave the house.
A family health practitioner can be a great companion for them, helping them with daily tasks and providing company. In addition, many elders have said that they feel more connected to their community when they have a family health practitioner who visits them regularly.
It’s also necessary for seniors to feel like they belong somewhere, whether in their neighborhood, at church, or in another organization.
When you go into places like this on your own time, you may feel less motivated than if someone were there every week with you. It is why having a regular visit from your doctor makes such a difference.
Providing Peace Of Mind For Elderly Family Members Who May Be Living Alone
Family health practitioners can also provide primary care to your whole family. It includes caring for the elderly members of your family, who may need additional help with daily activities.
When looking for family health practitioners, it’s necessary to find one highly qualified. A good place to start is by asking friends, family, and co-workers for recommendations. If you have children or elderly parents in your life, ask them who their primary care providers are.
A Family Health Practitioner Can Provide Primary Care to Your Whole Family
A family health practitioner can provide primary care to your whole family. It’s important to understand that a family health practitioner is not similar to your doctor or other medical professionals.
Instead of being a doctor, they’re usually a nurse practitioner or physician assistant who has received extensive training in many areas of medicine. Because they have more experience with critical conditions than other medical professionals, they are well-equipped to handle complex cases in geriatrics.
You can be the best caregiver, but you will never be able to provide the same level of care as a family health practitioner. Your role as a caregiver is crucial, but there are certain things that only a professional can do.
Whether it’s medication management or treatment of chronic diseases, these doctors are prepared to handle any medical situation that may arise in an elder’s life.
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