They say it takes a tribe to raise a single person. The same thing could be said for caring for an aging loved one or elderly member of your family. No single person can do the task alone depending on how much care your loved one is in need of. Caring for an elderly member of the family can be a taxing role no matter what point you are in life. It can burden your shoulders with a lot of stress, confusion, and even anger at some points. More and more of the baby boomer generation is growing older and with this fact come the increased need for care either at home or in a facility. For some families with elderly loved ones in need of a lot of assistance, a facility might be the right choice. When you have a family member in need of some assistance during the day then taking up the role of caregiver can be rewarding.
Before you dive into the role of caregiver there are a lot of aspects to consider. How will it impact your schedule? Will work permit you to give the time needed? Are there other members of the family able to take on certain roles when you can’t? All of these questions should be considered and a meeting should be held to discuss each. Taking on the role of caregiver can be a lot more complicated than one might think. Especially as your loved on ages and more care, and possible equipment, is needed to make sure they are comfortable. LiveAnew is proud to provide some tips to help prepare you for the role of caregiver. These tips should make it a lot easier to understand how to handle certain situations and embrace the road ahead.
Setting a Schedule
Seniors often respond well to being a set schedule. Getting into a routine will help your family member as well as the rest of the family. The best thing to do is sit down and plan out who will do what. If you’re busy in the morning, find another family member able to fill in when you aren’t. Depending on your schedule, you will more than likely be able to find someone to check up on your family member a few times a day. If none of your family members live close then hiring a part-time nurse or part-time companion could solve a lot of problems. If family members are around and able to help then speak and communicate with them about a regular schedule. Involve as many family members as possible to allow for some wiggle room. If a family member is unable to adhere to the schedule, having other family members on hand will help spread the load out and allow you not to get so stressed.
Make Time for Yourself
One of the biggest mistakes caregivers make is by not allowing themselves time to relax and let the stress slip away. Hobbies can fall by the wayside and the stress can slowly build until it doesn’t seem like you can function. Resentment for your loved one can build if you don’t give yourself an outlet. One of the most important rules of caregiving is to allow time for what you want to do. Schedule time for trips or activities you want to engage in that help you get rid of stress. Talk about your feelings as well and communicate with both your loved one and fellow caregivers. There are online communities dedicated to caregivers and finding support. Being a caregiver can be one of the most trying jobs of your life. Learning how to enjoy your hobbies and quiet moments will help you cope and take on your new role without all the added stress.
Communication with Your Loved One
This tip depends on how sharp the mind of your loved one is. Communicating with them will make things go a lot easier on a daily basis. Your loved one, if in the right mind, knows how difficult of a task this might be for you. Caring for someone on a daily basis can take a lot out of you. Each day you should try your best to communicate with your loved on and discuss what you’re doing. If you have to dress and change them, let them know what you’re doing. Tell them if you’re feeling like they are being difficult. If your loved one is angry or having difficulty, try to understand. It can be truly difficult to give someone else control over your life. As we age, more and more things begin to fall out of our control. Not being able to drive, cook, or even get outside are all things that can be extremely difficult to let go of. Talking about this with your loved one will help your understand their feelings about the situation as well as speaking your mind about what’s going on in your role as caretaker.
These are just some of the tips you might want to consider when it comes to understanding you role as caregiver. It’s a role you can never fully be prepared for and at the end of the day each caregiver and loved one relationship will be different. The main goal of caregiving is to make sure you are giving your loved one the best quality life possible. At times it can be extremely hard to continue. I can be hard to struggle each day and understand how much this new role has impacted your life. It doesn’t matter if you are old or young, caregiving can make a huge impression on how you approach and see life.
Always remember that your role as a caregiver, while difficult, can be one of the most rewarding jobs you take on. There will be difficult times ahead and you may feel overwhelmed at certain points. But at the of the day you will be happy that your loved one is taken care of and is enjoying a high quality of life.