Approximately fifty percent of caregivers are caring for people who live in their own home whole about thirty percent share a home with their loved ones whom they look after. Some of these carers are looking after their partners or spouses. You want to be the best carer for your loved one and you will find here how to.
Many of them, however, is a carer for their parents in an effort to help them stay as comfortable as they can. The caregiving task may involve simply stopping by to see how they are doing (in case you live separately) or may be comprehensive such that you assist them with everything from the moment they wake up including bathing, meal preparation, and management of medications. Being a carer for your loved ones will require commitment among other essential skills and knowledge as it is not as simple as it may sound. If you want to be a proper caregiver for a person you love and admire, then here’s a definitive guide on how to become one.
1. Develop a Carer Plan
When it comes to caregiving, it is imperative to always think about the short-term as well as long-term. It will be practically impossible to anticipate every scenario, but as a person who knows that someone else depends on you, it is important to cultivate a culture of forward-thinking so you can respond effectively when the need arises. To achieve this, you need to determine tasks and establish consensus. Create a team and find out what the members can do to ensure your loved one is well taken care of. You also need to be honest with yourself. Find out which tasks you can do and which ones you can’t. If you believe you are not comfortable with hands-on tasks like helping them to bathe, you should find out if there are any members of your team who are willing to do that. Finally, as part of developing the plan, make sure you summarize everything in writing to ensure that each and every individual involved in the caring process is one the same page. This process also helps in avoiding any future misunderstanding.
2. Consider Safety Adaptations
Safety is important when it comes to caregiving. If your loved one is finding it difficult moving around due to his compromised vision or any other disability, you will need to think of ways to minimize or eliminate hazards in the place of residence. Considering safety adaptations is a sure way of avoiding caregiver’s guilt wish is often the feeling of being responsible for the misfortunes of your loved one. Caregiver guilt can affect your ability to function appropriately and this may end up jeopardizing your capacity to care for your loved one. To avoid this, make sure you have everything planned out as far as the safety of your loved one is concerned. If you are not sure of how to go about it, consult an expert who can evaluate the place and make appropriate recommendations.
Make simple adjustments for preventing falls. Some of the basic, low-cost changes may include getting rid of trip hazards like rugs, ensuring the place is properly lit, and installing handrails and grab bars. You can also incorporate changes for dementia which brings with it some worries about injuries. To achieve this, you can install remote door locks, implementing the use of GPS devices, lowering the temperature of the water heater, among any other adjustments. In case of severe physical limitations, you can consider more extensive modifications such as hiring contractors to make structural changes like widening doors and building ramps.
3. Management of Health Care Needs
Since health facilities have been discharging patients in an effort to reduce costs, tasks which were reserved for medical practitioners are now being carried out by caregivers without adequate training on the job. To keep track of things, you need to ensure you are organized and know when to seek assistance. To stay on top of the medications, maintain an updated list that contains the name, the dosage, and the prescribing doctor. You also need to prepare yourself to handle challenging tasks such as inserting catheters and injecting the medicine. Get detailed instructions and a demonstration of how procedures are to be conducted before your loved one can be discharged.
4. A Healthy Lifestyle
When sharing your home with your loved one, especially your spouse or parent, caregiving can become an overwhelming task. You may find yourself carrying out the tasks of a coach, a nurse, a nutritionist, a counsellor, and a social director. These are all important roles when it comes to maintaining the mental and physical health of your loved one. While considering these roles, do not forget about your mental and physical health.
Make sure you are in a position to effectively address social needs. Loneliness and isolation are often linked to poorer health. Therefore, as you carry out your caregiving tasks, make sure you are in a position to help your loved ones avoid isolation and loneliness. In addition to that, you need to manage their nutrition effectively. You should be conscious of the dietary restrictions, and encourage them to consume a balanced diet and avoid processed meals. Make sure they take plenty of fluid because dehydration is usually associated with poor health conditions. Apart from that, you can encourage exercise. In any case, staying mobile is instrumental in maintaining balance, strength, energy, and brain health. The ability of your loved to take part in physical activities will vary, so check in with their doctor. A physical routine should incorporate activities such as seated yoga, swimming, walks, and the lifting of small weights. Most important of all, make sure you are able to establish boundaries. If you and your partner live with the person you are taking care of, it’s imperative to implement some level of privacy.
5. Seek Guidance
You can also benefit immensely from the practical guidance of experienced caregivers, whether your friends from the church or caregiver support from the internet. The important thing here is to acknowledge the fact that there are other people who are more experienced than you. For you to get the guidance needed, you should learn the value of humility. If you are a proud individual, it will not be easy for others to guide you through the caregiving process.
You can also look for information on caregiving online or read printed articles about caregiving. Learn about different ailments such as dementia in order to educate yourself on various ailments. The best knowledge, however, always comes from an individual who has been in your situation. Experience is always the best teacher. Therefore, people who are used to doing this can speak from their heart and guide you the right way.
As a religious person, you need to know that you ought not to carry your burden alone. You will need support, inspiration, and encouragement from your community as well. Some religious institutions have explored different ways for helping caregivers while others may be open to offering help assistance in the best way they can. Your role may include seeking assistance, getting what is already available, and making the most of what is given to you.
6. Take Care of Yourself
Depending on the severity of the condition of your loved ones, you are going to need actual assistance in addition to the guidance you seek. As mentioned, you can depend on your team for help with some of the caregiving tasks, so you can take a break for the work every now and then. Do not feel guilty as a carer, taking a break does not mean abandoning your loved one. In any case, your own health is important in caregiving because it can be difficult to offer meaningful service if you are unwell both physically and mentally. Therefore, do not be ashamed to ask help from family members and friends. There are so many people who may be more than willing to help you. Maybe a friend can pick up the prescription as your friend brings in dinner from time to time. You can also consider paying for the relatively small service which can take a large load off your shoulder. You can have people do the weekly cleaning at a fee while others take care of the yard for you. If you and your loved one live apart, you may also ask your friends and relatives to do the same for your home.
If all these sound too hectic, you may consider hiring an in-home carer. You can do this by going through an agency or hiring a carer directly. Whatever approach you take, make sure you check their background and references. From there, you can monitor their performance carefully to see how they do. If you do not know where to start, you can ask another carer for recommendations. Lastly, you need to consider your own mental health. In most cases, caregivers are at higher risk of being depressed or stressed out. If symptoms of stress or depression begin to manifest, seek assistance from a psychologist or any mental health practitioner. You can also seek advice and support from other caregivers.
Being a proper carer for someone you love will involve having a plan and executing it in the best way possible. This guide offers meaningful pointers on how to be a proper caregiver. Having a stable physical and mental health is crucial to providing quality care for your loved one.
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.
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- A brief guide to short term care
- Choosing a care home for a loved one
- Tips On Caring For Elderly Parents At Home
*This is a guest post