Deciding to care for an aging loved one is overwhelming. Arriving at that decision is usually never easy, but choosing to stick with it is even more difficult. It’s a major life change one really has to prepare for.
If you’re a first time caregiver, it’s even harder. Where will you start? How will you find out if you’re doing things right? You will need to learn a lot and make plenty of adjustments in your home and family.
It’s important for you to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally as well. As a caregiver, you need to be strong for yourself and your aging loved one. With some preparation, things will go smoothly for everyone.
How can you get ready for your new role as a caregiver? Here are a few steps you can take to make life easier.
The most important thing you need to do is to understand your loved one’s health condition. Since this is probably the reason you have chosen to take care of your aging loved one, you have to do it right. If they have a chronic illness or any ongoing treatments, you need to know how to provide proper care for them.
Learn everything there is to learn about how to help your loved one manage their health. Do own your research and ask your loved one how you can help them too. You can also talk to your loved one’s doctor if you want to know more about your loved one’s condition and how else you can offer support.
How many responsibilities can you handle as a caregiver? There are plenty of tasks that you might need to assume responsibility for. But do you have the time to handle all of them, outside of the usual tasks that concern your loved one’s overall well-being?
Determine your responsibilities as a caregiver to avoid future problems that may arise from resentment or stress. Delegate other tasks to other family members and hire help with cooking, cleaning, and nursing when you need to. Don’t let these responsibilities put a strain on your relationship with your loved one because you can’t communicate what you can handle.
Just because you’re supporting your senior loved one, doesn’t mean you don’t need it yourself. You’ve probably heard that someone needs to care for caregivers, too, and that’s actually very important. In order to give your loved one the support that they need, you also need to care for yourself.
Make sure you have a network of family and friends that you can count on, and can possibly help you when things get too much to handle. Find out if your community has local services available to assist your loved one as well. Don’t feel ashamed about looking for ways to lighten your load, because you shouldn’t carry all of it yourself.
You might be overwhelmed by everything you need to keep track of, so you have to practice being more organized. It’s important to have a system in place to ensure that you aren’t forgetting anything, whether it’s medications or appointments.
Making lists can help you remember things you need to do throughout the day. You can also use apps and programs that can help you keep track of your loved one’s health-related concerns. Try scheduling and meal planning to make things easier for you on a daily as well.
Let your loved one adjust
Your loved one also has to deal with losing some of their independence when you start caring for them. You also need to talk them through things and assure them that you want to add to their convenience. Show them you are sincerely ready to help.
To make the transition easier, make sure your loved one also maintains a bit of independence at home. It’s also important to include them in conversations that directly affect their health and living conditions, among others. This shows them that they’re still capable, but you’re always there to support them.
If you need to add mobility solutions to your home when you start taking care of your parents or loved ones, Western Stairlifts can help. Call us on 801-386-2408 to schedule a free evaluation service.