Vital Things that Caregivers Should Always Keep in Mind read

Jul 27 2020


Caregiving is a highly tough job, to say the least. However, by all means, it is also one of the most emotionally rewarding work. Caregiving is something that you are usually eased into based on certain life situations. Like, as your parents start to forget dates of important occasions and start to speak repetitively about the same thing, you step beside them. You gradually take hold of the situation and hold their hands. 

Caregiving is sudden. You are plunged into caregiving like the majority of caregivers around the world who spend approximately 20 hours per week caring for their loved ones. Caregivers take their parents to their medical appointments, take care of their prescriptions, or even cook food for them.

Are you too identifying with these help responsibilities? If you are new to being a caregiver, you’ve got lot to learn. You must have your own responsibilities; your own schedule to take care of. If you are already crammed tight with work, social commitments, or children, first relax and take an in-depth look at things around you. 

Naturally, with more demands of your energy and time, you must be looking for smarter ways to handle your caregiving duties. 

The list below may be of some help to you and offer you some useful advice on caregiving:

Vital things in caregiving: 

  • Don’t be wary of getting professional help in terms of home cleaning, appointing a home healthcare personnel, or asking your friends or family members to pitch in, if and when required. 
  • Don’t feel guilty in choosing to spend some time for yourself like pursuing a hobby or resting an afternoon.
  • Caregiving can be more rewarding than what you would initially perceive it to be. From priceless nuggets of wisdom to a whole lot of fun and laughter, there are unparalleled treasures associated with it! 
  • You must try organising in caregiving. Managing the many small caregiving tasks become extremely easy as you start organising the tasks. Make lists of everything that your parent may require. You may also hire professional help for care seeker’s healthcare needs.
  • You can rely on technology for things like use of emergency response such as SOS alerts and so on. Smart home technologies driven by motion sensors can help you check for any sudden change or fall in care seeker’s routine. 
  • Often times there are conflicts amongst siblings over who is to dedicate how much of his/her time into caregiving. These can be resolved; in most families, siblings usually share caregiving duties. Still, if you live nearer to your parents or have free time, and your sibling lives far away or has tight schedule, many responsibilities can come your way. In such conditions you must not grudge. Your sibling will definitely thank you for your efforts and pitch in for you whenever he/she can. 
  • One important thing you must do is visit your elderly parent’s doctor to precisely understand his/her health conditions and ailments. Have your contact number stored with the doctor. Also, it is beneficial and could prove to be very useful if you build a rapport with the hospital staff and doctors. 
  • Hand over to the doctor copies of any health care proxies/end-of-life wishes or wills so that the doctor is aware of them. 
  • Planning for the end of life is done through vesting of powers of attorney and living wills, and this is done via a lawyer. Have all financial documents put in place and ready for use. 
  • Don’t feel bad if your parents cannot live with you for their reasons. There are options like hiring caregivers for in-house activities like shopping, cooking, dressing and bathing. And you can go visit them as frequently as possible.
  • In the case of 24-hour supervision and assistance, you should consider hiring a senior living with medical care or retirement community. 
  • You must gently ease out your elders of activities like driving or writing chequebooks, which they might find difficult to do. 

All in all, know that your parent may need your help for quite some time. As per reports, 4-5 years is the average caregiving role time for adults tending to their parents or other seniors.

Try and prioritize their comfort all the time. Have the important TALK well ahead of time when your parents are still okay from a medical and mental point of view. Start such conversations gently with your parents with siblings in attendance and gradually build up the plan and way forward.