Being responsible for the livelihood of someone is a huge responsibility. Whether you have a plan in place or it happens suddenly when caring for a loved one, it will always be a scary and stressful situation. It is essential to know how to make the best of circumstances and make the experience rewarding while extending time with your loved one.
Below we offer a few tips for new caregivers that can help you feel more in control of the situation and prepare to care for your loved one.
Begin the conversation early
Learning how to communicate effectively and plan can make a difference in how you handle the situation. Even if your loved ones do not need care assistance yet, it is good to have this discussion with them well before care is required to determine their preferences. Where would they like to stay? Would you or another family member be able to help? How much can be afforded? These conversations will likely be put off by your loved one but keep insisting on having them. It will ensure all parties involved to feel more comfortable when the situation arises.
When family, friends, or community members offer support to help with daily chores, accept it! A common worry of new caregivers is trying not to feel like a burden when asking for help. However, you need to be realistic and acknowledge when someone else is better at helping with a chore. If you are given the support, take it and use the extra time to care for yourself.
Take care of yourself
As mentioned, it is essential to set time aside to take care of yourself. Besides providing better-quality care, taking care of your health and needs will create a happy, healthy, and long life. The last thing you want to feel when helping your loved ones is unhappiness or fatigue. Therefore, it is recommended for you to take breaks in between caregiving duties. Develop a routine and keep a healthy work-life balance.
Becoming a caregiver can be stressful, and you will always come up with new questions on how to handle certain situations. Look for guidance from seasoned caregivers and contact the numerous organizations that are here to help. Like this article, there are many resources to answer more specific questions you might have. Also, feel free to attend a caregiving class from organizations like the Red Cross or the National Family Caregivers Association. Join local groups and get extra help from volunteer organizations that provide relief to caregivers for free.
Even if you and your loved one have found a good balance for their care needs, it is still recommendable to contact senior facilities or nursing homes. Should your loved one need more professional care, having a plan will make the transition smoother and less stressful for all parties involved. Some facilities have pre-requirements or waitlists, so understanding these things should additional care be needed will help manage stress. Being too prepared has never been a bad thing.
Find fun activities to do together
Be open to new activities you can both enjoy, and do not be scared to try new things like painting, crafts, or sewing. Life can be unpredictable, so try enjoying your time while growing your connection with your loved one and making memories together.
Let Deano’s Senior Transit Help
Introducing home care does not mean that you must keep a loved one from doing what they enjoy. Ensuring that your loved one can still attend social gatherings, visit with family, and accomplish typical daily routines provides them with the opportunity to live a fuller life. Our mission is to provide safe, comfortable transportation for seniors while easing the burden this responsibility may create for family members. Request your ride with us today!