Are you the family caregiver?
Do you know that it is the toughest job you’ll ever love?
Do you know that family caregiving has replaced child care as the number one reason that people miss work? If you are like many of us, you are sandwiched in between taking care of your children and your elder loved ones.
The following quick tips can help to make the job a little easier!
10 tips to help you to maintain your own sanity and health to continue to provide the care necessary to your aging, or ill, loved ones:
1. You are NOT ALONE! Seek support from other caregivers or support groups if you need help. Use the resources you have available — they’re out there!
2. Take care of your own health! This will enable you to be strong enough to take care of others. You cannot be effective in caring for others, if you’re not at 100%.
3. Accept offers of help! You can suggest specific things that people can do to help you. Your friends, family, and neighbors can help to “lighten the load” by sharing the responsibilities of caregiving.
4. Communicate effectively with doctors, nurses, or other health care providers — yours and theirs! The medical community cannot help, if they do not know what assistance you need. Be clear and conscience about the things that are going on for you and the ones for whom you provide caregiving.
5. Take frequent respite breaks! Caregiving is hard work. You deserve breaks. Remember that you cannot function at your best if you do not get rest!
6. Watch for signs of depression! Caregiving can take a toll on your mental state. Do not delay seeking professional help if/when you need it.
7. Take advantage of technologies that can help you to care for your loved one. There are numerous tools available that can make both of your lives easier. (One example is a medical alert system that will allow your loved one to never be alone, as well as bring you peace of mind knowing that they are able to get help any time, simply by pushing a button.)
8. Organize medical information. It should be up to date and easy to find. As a caregiver, you’re the advocate for your loved one and should have information readily available for emergent situations.
9. Get legal documents in order. Seek legal counsel to get all the necessary paperwork ready in advance. Do not wait for a crisis situation to occur and realize that you do not have the appropriate documentation.
10. Give yourself credit! Do the best you can. Caregiving is one of the toughest jobs there is….