5 Tips for Being a Successful Family Caregiver
When you’re new to being a family caregiver, the task can be intimidating at best. Your loved one may need more care than you realized, which can throw you for a loop right out of the gate. No matter what your situation, try some of these tips to get a handle on being a family caregiver.
Stop and Review Often
Your elderly loved one’s health is going to change, as will her needs. Stopping every now and again to review what you’re doing, what her doctor recommends, and how she’s responding can help you to make a much more educated decision when you need to make one. Keeping a log or a diary of sorts can help you to corral all of that information for appointments with her doctor.
One of the biggest fears that many elderly loved ones have is that they’ll lose their independence. While you do probably need to help your elderly loved one quite a bit, encourage her to remain as independent as she can for as long as she can. For some elderly loved ones that might mean keeping a driver’s license while for others that can mean deciding what they’ll wear that day. There is independence available at all levels.
Take Changes Slowly
When you do need to make changes to your loved one’s care, it’s better if you take them slowly and make smaller changes rather than bigger ones. Your loved one needs time to adapt and you probably will, too. Going with smaller changes at a slower pace will help your loved one to warm up to some of the changes that she may need to make.
Part of being a family caregiver means that you’ll need to be flexible. There is always going to be something that comes up, either with her health or with another issue. The more that you can retain the ability to roll with the changes, the better for all of you.
Split Your Workload
It’s essential to remember that you don’t have to do everything yourself. However you can split up your workload and your tasks, make sure that you do it. This could mean bringing in other family members, friends, or even elderly care providers. The more help, the better.
As you gain experience with caregiving, you’ll add even more tools and tricks to your arsenal.