Family care-giving can be overwhelming. You can be put in a care-giving situation overnight. Many people are not prepared because it’s normally something you don’t prepare for. If there was one thing I would tell a new caregiver it’s that “You are not alone and Now is the time to get help.” Care-giving help can come in so many different ways. You must build a team to help you through this process.
Here are 5 things that you need to have in place to build your team.
- Contact your area agency on aging
They are normally the 1st stop for anyone who is aging or has a disability. They have information on caregiver programs and benefits that will help the aging population. They will also help you pinpoint the needs of the care recipient.
- Create a notebook
Write down all information about the care recipient because you will need it. As the primary caregiver you will be asked all kinds of questions and you must be prepared to answer it quickly and accurately. Gather information from finances to health records all of which will be needed in some fashion.
- Build your team
As a caregiver you can not do all things by yourself. Reach out to your family, friends, church and neighbors for any assistance that may be needed. Also, reach out to the care recipients’ doctor so he can recommend any home health and medical needs.
- Join a Support Group
Talking to others who are in the same situation that you are in helps you to feel less alone. Attending a support group helps a caregiver get stronger and learn about other ways that caregivers made it through their responsibility and assignment. There is strength in numbers.
- Learn about Respite Programs
Caregivers need respite! A respite is a break for a caregiver. Caregiver breaks can be taken in many ways. Check with your health care professional or local sitter services for respite opportunities. Register for the Caregiver’s Rest Conference November 10, 2015 for a day of respite.