Community Blog

What Every New Caregiver Needs to Know

By Michael Hagman, RN, BSN

Elder Care in Boulder MT

Whether you volunteered to care for an elderly family member or someone else volunteered you for the role, it can be overwhelming and intimidating to think of all of the responsibilities that you are now in charge of. Depending on the health of your loved one, you may need to help with the chores, finances, driving, and even personal care tasks, like bathing.

Being new to this job can be challenging, but being prepared will give you the confidence and empowerment to provide the care your elderly parent is in need of. To get you on your way to being a successful caregiver, here are some tips every newbie should be aware of.

  • Talk to the senior. If they are still able to, let the senior tell you exactly what they want you to help them with. This will give you a better idea of what is expected of you prior to beginning the caregiving role. Although they will have certain expectations of you, do not be afraid to also set your own limitations.
  • Prioritize your responsibilities. Once you know what tasks you will be responsible for, write them down. Put the most important items first and the least important last. This will reduce your stress and ensure that your parent is getting the care they are in need of.
  • Have a support system. There are going to be days that are more difficult than others. Having a support system, especially on the tough days, will give you the strength to continue moving forward as the primary caregiver. If you are feeling stressed, ask for help from other family members. A professional elder care provider can also take over your caregiving responsibilities while you take a much-needed break.
  • Hold family meetings. Just because you are the primary caregiver does not mean you should have to make all of the decisions alone. Instead, hold family meetings to discuss the health of your loved one. If there are family members who live afar, have them join the meeting via the phone or Skype.
  • Have a candid discussion with your spouse. As important as it is to talk to your family members about your loved one’s care, it is also important to talk to your spouse. Let them know what you expect from them, whether you would like help caring for the elder or help at your own home. Make sure to show appreciation for all he or she is doing to help.

With these tips, you should be able to relax knowing what to expect as a family caregiver.

Source:
http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/info-08-2010/gs_new_caregivers_rules.html

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Boulder, MT, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (406) 438 - 2231.