Becoming A Caregiver

If you are considering becoming your parent’s caregiver there are some questions you need to ask yourself. As you prepare to take on the task of being a caregiver, you will have to take an honest look at yourself and your life.  Your availability, your stamina, your personality, and your caregiving capabilities are all things that will have an effect on your decision.  Being a caregiver can entail not only performing basic care, care of the home, medical care tasks, but also may involve coordinating other care providers and appointments, and advocating for your loved one.

Being a caregiver to an aging parent is likely to affect your physical, mental, and emotional health. It will also change your relationship with your parent and impact your other relationships too. Being as prepared as you can be will help to minimize the surprises.

Here are some things you need to consider before taking on this challenging role:

  • Am I capable of taking care of mom or dad (or a spouse) all by myself? Do we need to hire someone to help or should we consider assisted living?
  • How could caregiving affect my physical and mental health?
  • Will I be able to ask for and accept help?
  • Do I have the social support and other resources in place?
  • Will there be a way for me to make time for myself and my family?
  • Am I financially able to make this commitment of time and finances?
  • How will I manage my job or career during this time?
  • If my loved one has dementia, and sometimes cannot filter their words or behaviors, will I be able to cope with the hurt and stress of this?

One piece of advice that many an experienced caregiver shares is to take advantage of the support groups and other opportunities available for caregiver support. Caregivers often say, after the caregiving has come to an end, “I wish I had gotten involved in a support group”, or “I wish I had asked for more help,” or something along those lines. It’s important to know ahead of time what resources are available, and to make a plan for giving yourself a break, and to enlist the support of others. These are important pieces of the planning. You can trust A Caring Heart to help with some of your important choices. Contact us today for free help.

Comments are closed.