There are approximately 44 million family caregivers providing unpaid care to an adult in the United States. Like you, all of them had to start somewhere. They probably didn’t know as much about what it meant to be a caregiver or what to do as they wanted to. Many of them were uncertain of where to even start. If you’re struggling with where to start, below are 5 things you’ll need to educate yourself about as a new caregiver.
#1: Your Aging Relative’s Condition
Learning as much as you can about the medical condition your older family member has is an excellent place to start. Knowing how the condition affects their body and what kinds of symptoms they might experience can help you to know what to do for them. In addition, it can allow you to be a more effective advocate when dealing with doctors and other providers. You can learn about medical conditions by asking the senior’s doctor for literature, reading books, and consulting reputable websites on the Internet.
#2: Caregiver Support Groups
You may not think you’ll need anyone to talk to about being a caregiver now but as time goes on, you may change your mind. Being a caregiver can be stressful and you may find yourself uncomfortable talking to other family members or friends about negative emotions. Caregiver support groups are a great place to vent your emotions among a group of people who understand what you’re going through. You can find support groups in your area by talking to a social worker at the hospital or conducting an Internet search.
#3: Stress Management
The stress of being a caregiver can cause physical and emotional illness. Learning some stress management skills can help you to relax and prevent stress from making you ill. Some good ways to release stress are exercise, deep breathing, and yoga.
#4: Organizational Skills
There’s a lot to keep track of when it comes to taking care of an older adult. They may be taking multiple medications, seeing several different medical providers, and need help with their finances. If your organizational skills aren’t up to snuff, you may struggle to keep up. Reading books on organization may help you to learn new skills.
#5: Where to Get Help
At some point, you may decide that you cannot keep up with all of your caregiver duties as well as work and family responsibilities. Knowing where you can turn for assistance will allow you to get the help you need. One source of assistance is home care. A home care agency can provide a qualified staff member to come to the older adult’s home and care for them when you need a break or have other responsibilities to attend to.
If you or an aging loved one are considering a Caregiver in Monticello, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.
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