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7 Things You Should Do Before Becoming a Family Caregiver

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Every year, more than 40 million adults in the country provide care for their senior loved ones. Although rewarding, the task comes with a variety of responsibilities. If you are thinking about becoming a caregiver to a senior parent or other relative, there are many issues to consider.

1. Hold a Meeting

Arrange a meeting with your senior loved one, family members, friends, and neighbors. Devise a caregiving plan, discuss your goals, and get input from all those involved. Discuss your loved one’s current and possibly progressive health conditions along with potential legal concerns. At this stage, you should also consider hiring an in-home caregiver if you need some assistance with your caregiving duties.

If you are the primary caregiver for your elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care, Folsom, turn to Home Care Assistance.

2. Arrange for Monetary Compensation

Many caregivers need to adjust their normal daily routines to provide care. This often involves cutting back on time spent working or being with the family. Depending on the number of hours and days you plan on assuming the role, determine if financial compensation might be appropriate, and discuss the options with other family members. Consult a geriatric social worker if payment is available through your state. Otherwise, you may need to develop a legal agreement between you and other family members.

3. Work Out Legal Matters

If your loved one has cognitive impairment, you should consider obtaining a power of attorney. This way, one of your trusted family members can assume responsibility for medical care and legal concerns on behalf of your elderly loved one. Other considerations include advanced directives, living wills, and end of life care.

4. Consider Stress Relieving Techniques

Providing care for another person puts physical, mental, and emotional strain on an individual. Consider taking a class to learn how to manage caregiver stress, and take good care of your health and wellbeing. Eat healthy foods, stay active, and have a hobby or other means to alleviate stress when needed.

5. Understand the Responsibility

You may have to provide care for your aging loved one for several years. As your loved one’s medical condition progresses, your duties may become challenging. At some point, you might need a break. Think about who will care for your loved one in the event of an emergency. You can enlist the aid of other family members or professional caregivers should the need arise.

6. Avoid Self Punishment

Spending time with an elderly loved one every day may lead to disagreements. If your loved one has cognitive impairment, he or she will display aggressive behavior. These situations often lead to conflicting emotions and thoughts, and caregivers might feel guilty for having negative feelings. If you allow yourself to continue feeling this way, you could develop feelings of anger, frustration, and resentment toward your loved one. However, it is normal to think and feel this way sometimes. Forgive yourself and move on.

Seniors with dementia can become agitated at times. This makes it difficult for family caregivers to provide care, and it could lead to additional caregiver stress and negativity. The Folsom, CA, dementia care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help your loved one manage symptoms of dementia through mental stimulation, socialization, eating healthy foods, exercising daily, and focusing on other healthy lifestyle factors.

7. Demonstrate Patience

Family caregivers might experience problems with siblings or other family members. Perhaps they unknowingly overburden the caregiver or underestimate their abilities. When differences of opinion arise, openly communicate with each other. Convey your feelings and try to understand the other individual’s perspective. Work closely with your family members to come to a solution for your loved one’s benefit.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another cognitive health condition, you may need to hire a professional caregiver to assist with daily activities. For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Folsom families can contact Home Care Assistance at 916.943.4280.