If you’re new to being a family caregiver, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. You may not know how to get started or what you can do to make the experience as easy on yourself as possible. Below are 5 things you can do as a beginning caregiver to improve your journey.
#1: Spend Some Time Researching
If the older adult you are caring for has a specific condition, it’s a good idea to learn as much about it as you can. By knowing about the condition, you’ll have a better idea of how it affects the senior and be able to spot changes that require medical treatment. Caregivers who are informed about a condition also tend to feel more in control and comfortable advocating for the senior with medical providers and others.
#2: Get Organized
Caregivers are often responsible for managing medical bills and other aspects of care that require paperwork that needs organizing. Create a file that contains all of your older family member’s important information, such as copies of their Medicare or insurance cards, contact information for family members and medical providers, and list of the medications they are taking. Keep the file where caregivers can grab it on the way to a doctor’s appointment or if they senior is taken to the hospital.
#3: Join a Caregiver Support Group
Being a caregiver is sometimes very hard. You may find it beneficial to join a caregiver support group, which offers you a place to talk about your experience and how it affects you emotionally. A caregiver support group is also a good place to learn tips from other more experienced caregivers.
#4: Remember to Take Care of Yourself
Lots of caregivers get so wrapped up in the health needs of the older adult they are caring for that they forget to take care of themselves. It’s common for caregivers to skip healthy meals in favor of something quick because they feel pressed for time. They may also neglect regular medical care and spend little time exercising. Make a commitment to your own health early on and stick to it. If you don’t, you may find yourself too ill to care for your loved one.
#5: Ask for Help
As your aging relative gets older or a disease progresses, they are going to need more care. In fact, it might be more care than you are prepared for. Caregivers should not expect to do everything on their own. Instead, make a list of people you think might be willing to contribute to the senior’s care, even in small ways. Then, make some calls and send some emails to ask for help. And, when someone offers to help, take them up on it!
If you or an aging loved one needs a Caregiver in Roseville, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.