Changing needs: When care needs change and how to adapt

from | Oct 28, 2022

No care situation ever stays the same. Constantly changing factors in the lives of caregivers and those in need of care create both new problems and new opportunities again and again. Care and care aids must always be adapted to this - and that is easier than you think. 

Advancing age, a move, even global situations such as the recent Corona pandemic: anyone who cares or is cared for is constantly encountering new challenges that need to be mastered. The demands placed on care are always changing. Of course, this is not always negative - new developments in nursing technology or new housing closer together can be just as much a part of the constant change. But most changes, large and small, create stress and require adjustments in care that can seem overwhelming at first. 

The only constant is change - in the world and in the individual

A person is not a static being and is therefore subject to constant development. A family caregiver wants to continue to develop and - in addition to his or her obligations as a caregiver - also do justice to any partners, children and themselves. Those who are cared for themselves also experience change: advancing age or the course of an illness, but also psychological changes or an injury (for example, due to a fall) lead to new needs that must be taken into account in the individual care concept. 

But it doesn't always have to be the personal level that requires adjustments. Just recently, nurses around the world have been confronted with the difficult task of adequately caring for their loved ones in the midst of a pandemic while protecting them from infection. Meeting increased demands on hygiene, for example, is exhausting, takes up time and puts a strain on finances. So how can these complicated situations be managed? 

Simple, but wise: Facing change calmly

When it comes to dealing with change, communication and sensitivity are paramount. Every care situation, even a well-rehearsed one, is also to some extent a stressful situation, the pressure of which is increased once again when major changes are imminent. Being patient with oneself and those being cared for goes a long way toward being calm and collected about what's ahead and making wise choices when it comes to adapting. 

Communicating with each other openly and honestly, but calmly and respectfully, helps to find the optimal solution for everyone involved. Which needs exist, which have newly arisen, which can perhaps be provided for differently? This applies to both sides, by the way - especially as a family caregiver, it is important not to overestimate oneself and to recognize when additional help should be brought on board, such as through a care service or by hiring a home help. Those who go about their work calmly, rested and relaxed can also provide the best possible care. 

Meeting the future - side by side

When it then comes to taking a closer look at the changed needs and listing what is now needed, it pays to have competent and reliable partners at your side. Check which benefits you are entitled to through the long-term care insurance fund - aids that increase the independence of those in need of care, or benefits such as care services or household help, for example, if these are not yet being used. 

If you already work with vendors whose work you like, find out how they can work with the changed terms. 

When it comes to choosing your partners in care, it is important to be able to demand flexibility from them.