7 Tips for New Caregivers
According to the AARP, about 80% of elderly care is provided by family members and friends. If you are a new caregiver, you are probably feeling a lot of stress and you probably have a lot of questions, fears and frustrations. Here are some tips for new caregivers to help you relieve that stress and get off to a good start.
Tips for New Caregivers
1. Gather the Info You Need – Having the info you need to make decisions and get the best help is important when you are first starting out as a caregiver. Here are some great resources to help you gather the info you need to make a smooth transition into caregiving:
2. Create a Caregiving Plan – By having a plan to work from and an organized way of proceeding as a caregiver, everything moving forward will be much easier. Here is an article to help you create your caregiving plan.
3. Trust Yourself – This is a time when you will be gathering information and taking recommendations from doctors and professionals. While their opinions are valuable, you know your loved one best so you also need to make sure you trust your own instincts.
4. Be a Caregiver for Yourself As Well – Caregiving can take a lot out of you and it is easy to get burned out. Make sure you are taking time to care for yourself and that you are giving yourself breaks to recharge. You might want to try out respite care to make sure you get the breaks you need. Learn more about respite care here.
5. Set Boundaries & Help Your Loved One Stay Independent – Setting boundaries is extremely important in a caregiving relationship. When a person relies on a caregiver too much, it isn’t a healthy situation for the caregiver or the person being cared for. Help your loved one maintain some level of independence as long as possible. It will do wonders for his or her well-being and it will keep you sane.
6. Be Flexible – Even though setting boundaries is important, you have to be flexible and realize that those boundaries will likely change over time. Be open to new schedules, new ways of doing things and new methods of help, as well as new ways of relating with the person you are caring for.
7. Consider Hiring a Home Care Aide – Depending on how much help other family members are giving you, you may need to consider hiring a home care aide to assist you. Remember, the most important thing is to be the best caregiver you can be, and if you are too stressed because you are taking on too much, how good of a job can you do? The home care solution can be such a blessing and you can schedule it around your needs and the needs of your loved one. Learn more about home care here.