Isabella is extremely anxious. Her mother is recently diagnosed with dementia, and she knows that her mother can no longer take care of herself. She loves her mother and wants to take care of her. However, when she gives a thought to the challenging caregiving duties, hiring a professional caregiver seems a more feasible alternative. Yes, a caregiver has to perform several duties. Caregivers gradually become depressed when they find it tough to take care of their own well-being. Are you someone planning to become a caregiver for your loved one? If yes, prepare yourself for the role by developing clarity about the caregiving duties. Here are the top five duties of caregivers that you should know.
A caregiver must do precise planning regarding the things that he or she is supposed to do on a daily, weekly or monthly basis for taking proper care of the care recipient. This may include taking note of the daily activities in which the care recipient will need his or her assistance to maintain basic hygiene or for other instrumental activities of daily living.
Care planning also includes taking the care recipient for weekly or monthly doctor appointments. Proper care planning helps the caregiver to know how much help he or she will need from other family members or friends to cope with the challenges of caregiving.
Management of prescribed medicines
As the age advances, people start to become more dependent on medications. If your care recipient is with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer or dementia, the medication list will be lengthy. Remember, people with memory loss often forget to take their medications on time which deteriorates their health condition. So, you will have to ensure that your loved one is having all the prescribed medicines on time. You can use a pill dispenser or a medication reminder to excel in managing medications.
Taking care of food and nutrition
Sometimes, it is tough to convince care recipients to have their meal on time. Many elderly are not keen on having nutritious food because of loss in the sensation of taste or due to health problems. In such a case, meal preparation becomes the duty of the caregiver. If your loved one needs to follow a strict diet, you may have to take care of meal preparation as per the dietary recommendations.
Helping in movement
Caregivers have to help their care recipients in their daily movements. This may be helping them in enjoying an evening stroll in the park or to move from a wheelchair to a toilet seat. If you are becoming a caregiver to someone with mobility issues, knowledge of proper transfer methods will come handy.
Reporting and monitoring
It is not easy to monitor a loved one round the clock, but caregivers are expected to do the same. Of course, modern technological devices such as CCTV cameras, audio or video monitors have made the task easier. As a caregiver, you have to monitor your loved ones and maintain a record. You are also expected to report the doctor if there are any visible changes in behavior, health or mental state.
If you think you will suffer a caregiver burnout while performing all these duties, ask support from other family members. You can also join a community of caregivers. Adequate support from fellow caregivers will help you to thrive in your new-found role.