Only three? As a family caregiver, you are probably thinking that three challenges do not quite entail all the concerns a family caregiver faces. The truth is that there are a few primary concerns that all others stem from. Similar to treating a disease and not the symptom, addressing these few issues goes a long way to finding a solution for any issues that arise in the context of caregiving.
Number One – A Team
Otherwise known as the lone-soldier syndrome, it is a common trait among family caregivers—going it alone. They begin the process of caring for a loved one when they only need assistance with a few of the daily activities of living. Maybe they have grown uncomfortable around the stove and need some help with meal preparation. No problem. The caregiver arrives a few days a week, helps around the house, and prepares meals that are then frozen for the coming week. Their parent starts losing their eyesight. They need help with transportation and then bathing and then all the activities of daily living. Before they are even aware of what has transpired, the family caregiver has accepted the role of caring for their loved one in its entirety. Before this occurs, get your caregiving team in place.
It’s not always easy or possible to see what lies ahead. As a caregiver, planning is really educated guesses. There are signs your parent may need help with transportation in the near future. Instead of rushing at the last minute when an appointment is fast approaching. Take the time to set a transportation plan into place ahead of time. Contact the local Area on Aging or the local senior community center for information regarding local options. Many communities offer a volunteer service that assists seniors with door-to-door transportation. If your fortunate to have public transportation, many offer discounted senior rates. A home care provider can assist with transportation as well as other activities. Take this strategy in relation to all aspects of caregiving, staying one step ahead.
A family caregiver may not be totally prepared for the caregiving tasks that lie ahead. For instance, if a loved one has dementia, there will be many changes in the protocol and process of caregiving. Prepare accordingly. A home care provider can assist with the activities that a caregiver finds particularly challenging such as incontinence issues or daily dressing and bathing. Technical solutions such as medication reminders, GPS solutions to keep track of a loved one, or medical alert systems can help you feel secure and ready when changes take place.
With care and consideration, you can create a caregiving plan that keeps your loved one safe and well cared for and keeps you living a balanced life.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Bordentown, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.