When your loved one needs to be cared for, most adult children or family members want to be the caregiver of their ill loved one. However, being a caregiver is more complicated than just agreeing to do it. You need to have a clear picture of what your loved one will need help with, how healthy they are, and what tasks they will be able to accomplish alone. Here are just a few tips to help your new journey as a family caregiver go as smoothly as possible.
Talk to the elder
Before beginning the job, sit down with the senior to discuss what will be required as the caregiver. What tasks will you be responsible for? Is all of their medical and financial paperwork in order? Where are all of the important documents that you may need sometime in the future, such as the birth certificate, marriage certificate, insurance information, power of attorney, and any other documents you may need? Having a caregiving plan established with your elderly parent will ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Frequently communicate with the doctor
Especially if the senior is suffering from a medical condition or disease, you will need to frequently talk to their doctor. Constantly getting updates on your loved one’s health will give you an idea of what to expect in the future.
Know your limit.
While you may want to do everything for the elder, there are some things that you either are not capable of helping with or do not have the time for. Trying to do more than you can handle will quickly lead you to feel burned out or depressed. Know your limits and do not be afraid to tell them no.
Ask for help
Most caregivers need to take a break at some point, and quite frankly, they deserve it. After all of the hours spent caring for their loved one, they deserve to spend some time focusing on themselves for a change. When you feel like you are ready to step away from the caregiving role for a short amount of time, a senior care provider can be hired to take over. Of course, this does not mean you are permanently being replaced. You can resume your position whenever you are able to.
Determine their physical and emotional needs
Follow the senior around for a day, observing what they are able to do and what they need help with. This will give you a better idea of how you can help make their life easier.
Caregiving can be a very fulfilling role if you are prepared. These tips are the perfect place to start if you are new to the role.