Wednesday, January 28, 2009

6 Things To Think About For The New Caregiver Of Aging Parents

The Ultimate Guide For Today's Caregiver!

Your caregiver role may be thrust upon you without
much warning or you have slowly slid into it. Either
way, the role of adult caregiver can be overwhelming.

It can cause feelings of isolation, anxiety, sadness,
trepidation, frustration and even resentment. (Then
of course, those emotions bring on guilt.)

These feelings are normal and not at all uncommon
and you can expect them to come and go throughout
your tenure as a caregiver. With these feelings also
come positive moments of appreciation for the person
you are caring for, compassion and understanding.

Every caregiving situation is unique due to various
circumstances but there are various strategies to help
you cope through the times ahead that are universal.

If you find yourself in that adult caregiver role, you
should arm yourself with as much information as possible
so that you can not only learning coping skills but also
create a plan of action which includes alternatives for
anything unanticipated.

6 all-purpose strategies that can help:

1. Establish the groundwork for your caregiving role
so that you can adequately make the necessary

Talk with all parties involved from the loved one
you are caring for as well as your siblings and other
family members and even social agencies who may
help in providing care.

You need a clear picture of when the problems started
occurring and in what frequency. This information will
help in preparing a treatment plan.

2. Meet with your loved one's doctors and ensure your
loved one has a comprehensive examination to test
emotional, physical and mental health.

You need to know everything in order to conduct your
caregiving duties effectively. Educate yourself in regards
to what you can expect as your loved one deteriorates
so that you know when and how to react when caregiving
needs change.

3. Assess your loved one's needs and determine
whether they can still live alone with daily help and
intervention or whether they need to move in with you.

Their daily habits will need to be scrutinized. Things
such as:

*Personal care like eating and grooming
*Household chores like cooking, cleaning and
paying bills on time
*Health management such as taking medications
properly and even whether they can be safe by
themselves or maintain personal relationships.

4. Create a plan that addresses the assessment you
have made regarding your loved one. You may have
to hire an adult caregiver during the day so you can
work or find an adult day care.

You might have to give up your job to care for them
full-time or perhaps they could still live alone but you
need to hire a companion to assist them.

Hospitals, social work agencies and even governmental
entities can help you cope with these decisions.

5. Evaluate your finances and that of your loved one.
What type of care can they afford? Does insurance cover

Will you have to pitch in financially? You might have
to consult with a lawyer to outline all the financial assets
your loved one has as well as possibly draw up any legal
papers granting your rights should your loved one not
be able to make decisions any longer.

6. Whether your loved one can still live at home or has
to move in with you, there are likely safety issues you
have to deal with.

For physical infirmities, you will likely have to make
plans to accommodate a wheelchair or install handicap
implements such as a chair in the shower, rails for
hallways and stairs and more.

For cognitive issues, you might have to remove anything
that could be potentially harmful such as knives, knobs
on the stove so it cannot be used, fire-related devices
and you may even have to install an alarm system so
that they cannot wander off and get lost.

The Ultimate Guide For Today's Caregiver!