When a person takes the decision of becoming a caregiver for a loved one, he or she is not well-prepared for the role. After all, caregiving is not a typical job. At present, millions of people, including children are taking care of their parents, spouses, grandparents or friends as a caregiver. Are you someone who is about to become a family caregiver of a loved one? If yes, here are the top five tips for new caregivers which will come handy for you.
Improve your organization and time-management skills
Apart from empathy and hard work, organization skills are very important to be a successful caregiver. So, get a notepad and start writing all the tasks that you need to do daily as a caregiver. Have all the medical papers, prescriptions, appointment papers, and other important documents in one place. Also, start practicing time management. Soon you will have more tasks and less time to complete them. So, you must learn to manage your time well.
Learn about the health condition of your loved one
You have to learn more and more about the diagnosis, present health condition, and the existing treatment options so that you can excel in your new role. Remember, there can be a crisis anytime. So, you must have the required information at your disposal. You can also prepare a list of questions to ask from your loved one’s physician to learn your doubts (if any).
Consider the impending financial implications
Think about the financial implications that you have to encounter when you become a caregiver. Try to find out whether you can have flexible working hours or can you work as a freelancer from the comfort of your home. Planning is vital to avoid a financial crisis. Remember, you may have to sacrifice your full-time job to fulfill your caregiving duties if the need arises.
Know about the available support (if any)
Try to find out whether there are professional caregivers, respite care services or any other kind of caregiver support in your area. If there are any, note the address and contact numbers in your notepad for quick reference. Sometimes, caregivers also need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. Having such support can offer you the much-needed relief.
Try to seek support
If you have no help around you in your caregiving journey due to a lack of respite care services or your remote location, try to seek support from other family members, friends, or even your neighbors. You can’t do all the tasks alone. It is important to understand that there is nothing wrong about asking help to take care of a loved one. You can also take online support from a Facebook community of caregivers like you!
Apart from the above five tips, it is wise to invest in caregiving gadgets if you can. Today several gadgets are available, such as audio-video monitors, GPS trackers, hydration reminders, and automatic pill dispensers that will make things easy for you as a new caregiver.