No one wants to think of their parents or loved ones becoming ill or needing in home health care, however, for many Americans, caring for elderly or ailing parents has become a reality. Many of these unpaid caregivers also continue to work full or part-time, adding to the stress of an already difficult time. While a reputable caregiving service can help relieve some of that stress, there are a few other things that can make caregiving a more enjoyable experience for you and your loved one.
Here are five tips that can make caring for a parent or loved one just a little bit easier.
1. Keep Important Papers in One Place
If you’re the primary caretaker, especially for someone with dementia or alzheimer’s, it’s important that you have certain paperwork completed and in a safe location. Some of these forms include: birth certificate, social security card, power of attorney, Health Care Proxy, and Medical Orders of Life Sustaining Treatment. These forms will help you navigate the healthcare system more easily. It is also a good idea to make sure your loved one has a will on file with a trustworthy attorney.
2. Learn More About Their Diagnosis and Medical Care
Knowledge is power, and the same is true for caregiving. It may be necessary to accompany your loved one to doctor’s appointments, especially in the case of alzheimer’s or dementia cases. Knowing about your loved one’s diagnosis can help you be an informed partner in their care and help remove some of the doubts that come with caregiving. Knowing about your loved one’s diagnosis can help you ensure you find the resources you need to give them the best care and when hiring a caregiver.
3. Find and Use the Different Support Services in Your Area
Caregiving services can help take care of some of the burden of caring for an elderly or ailing parent or loved one. Whether you need in home health care, personal care, companion care, or respite care, a qualified caregiver can help make your job easier. Plus, you’ll get to focus on building more memories with your loved one, rather than worrying about their next bath.
4. Be Proactive: Plan!
Caregiving can be tough, but having a plan in place can make things a bit easier. Knowing what steps to take in a certain situation or scheduling for assisted home care or companion care in advanced can help alleviate stress. Planning can be made easier by enlisting a caregiving service to assist with care or working with a knowledgeable caregiving team.
5. Remember to Take Care of Yourself
Caring for a loved one can be stressful! Because of the stress of caring for someone, family caregivers have an increased risk of depression and illness. It’s important to take care of yourself and your needs as well, so you’ll have the energy to care for someone.
We hope these five tips will help you better care for your loved one as you work towards what is best for both of you.