We all think about how we will handle things as our parents and loved one’s age, however, when something happens to a member of our family due to an unexpected accident or illness, you may suddenly find yourself in the position of caregiver. In the aftermath of such an event, we want to focus all of our attention on our family member in need. It’s important to remember though, especially if you’ve never taken on the role of caregiver, that it’s vital that you take care of your needs as well. Adele’s Caring Angels have put together some tips to help you manage:
- Do some research so you can know as much as possible about how to best care for and help your loved one recover. You can find information online as well as consult with your doctors. Some recoveries take weeks, months or even years and it’s best to know what to expect.
- Don’t try to do it all alone. If a loved one is ill or has been seriously injured, your initial reaction might be to take the caregiving on all by yourself. That means that on top of managing your own life, you will need to arrange doctors’ appointments and drive them to those appointments. Caregivers need to help manage medications, prepare meals, keep the house clean and assist with the daily needs of living like bathing and grooming. If the accident was the result of someone’s negligence, you may also need to deal with attorneys and insurance companies. It’s just not possible or healthy for one family member to do it all. It is impossible to do this all on your own. Get a team of family members, friends and seek the assistance of a professional caregiver. Check out local support groups for caregivers. As a caregiver, you need to take the time to restore yourself or you will eventually feel overwhelmed and run down. Learn to know your limits are and stick to them without guilt. When you take care of yourself, you will be a better caretaker for your loved one.
- When a situation like this arises and you find yourself caring for the needs of an injured family member, it can be uncomfortable at first. No one wants to be bathed, fed and dressed by a family member or friend. It is important to communicate and build trust with the person you’re caring for. This can be a frustrating time for someone who can no longer care for themselves. Listen, show compassion and understanding, and be patient. Take their mind off their condition by playing a game or watching a movie or even going through old family photo albums with them.
- If you are caring for someone and they ask for confidentiality, respect that. That includes any medical information that has been shared with you.
- When you’re caring for a family member, don’t forget the needs of other family members living in the house. Your children and spouse need you too. Make sure you take time to appreciate them.
- Be an advocate for your family member. If you feel that progress is not being made or notice a change in mental or physical health, discuss it with them and their doctors.
- Don’t try and do everything for them. If they up to participating in their own care, let them. Being more active in their everyday tasks, will help them gain confidence and recover more quickly.
- Check to find out what services are available in your area to help make life easier. Meal delivery programs, doctor appointment transportation services, local in-home health care services can be life-savers. Many of these vital services may be partially covered by insurance or will scale their rates based on ability to pay.
Last but not least, take care of yourself. Eat balanced meals, get enough sleep, exercise, socialize with family members and friends, and treat yourself to something you really enjoy. If you find yourself overwhelmed, fatigued, anxious, worried, unable to sleep, sad or not feeling well, remember, there is help.
We at Adele’s Caring Angels Caregiver Service are caregivers too and have also been caregivers to our loved ones!
You’re Are Not Alone!
Remember, we can stand together and be strong for the benefit of your loved one and family.
Call Adele’s Caring Angels Today! (313) 414-0065
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