A caregiver is someone who looks after another person who is not entirely independent. Caregiving can easily become overwhelming due to its demanding and stressful nature. Whether you’re only there for your loved one occasionally or you provide around-the-clock support, there’s no doubt that caregiving can be tough.
The Role Of The Caregiver
When you take care of someone with a serious or complex illness, every aspect of your life is affected. It’s not entirely uncommon for caregivers to begin experiencing strange/abnormal thoughts, feelings, and emotions. They might even begin to pose questions and concerns on a spiritual level within themselves. Changes in the body can also occur.
Educating yourself on caregiving can equip you with the tools necessary to not only help your loved one, but also maintain your own mental health.
Always maintain awareness of your loved one’s priorities. In the event that the condition worsens, you will already have a general idea of his/her wishes.
Because caregiving comes with an immense list of responsibilities, it can be extremely taxing on both a physical and mental level. Organization will help minimize your workload and increase downtime for both you and your loved one. Making lists is a great way to begin becoming organized when caregiving.
Safety in the Home
Caregiving often takes place in the home of the person being cared for, but it can also take place in a nursing home or assisted living facility. In some cases, the caregiver will completely move into a patient’s home to provide better attention, support, and care.
Providing Care for Pain
Watching a loved one suffer from pain is not easy. Additionally, providing care for someone who suffers from a great deal of pain can be extremely taxing, and it can make it difficult to focus on any other aspect of life.
Provision of Care
Caregivers have the responsibility of assisting those who need help. Regardless of the amount of time you invest in helping someone with a debilitating condition, you will quickly realize this job isn’t simple nor easy. It’s extremely important to be as aware and prepared as possible.
Caring for Yourself
Even if you spend all of your time looking after another individual, you must still remember to take care of yourself. You are also a human being who needs nurturing, space, and attention.
Overview of Advance Care Planning
Should your loved one ever become unable to communicate his/her wants or needs to you, you’ll need to have a plan in place. Advance care planning can help you ensure that you continue to provide quality care to your loved one even in critical conditions. Educate yourself on advance directives. These are tools that allow your loved one to create a legal document outlining their wishes, concerns, and priorities in the event that they can’t speak for themselves.
It might be difficult, but begin thinking about your loved one’s living will, financial power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and funeral accommodations so that you don’t have to suddenly do so in the future. This can help you gain peace of mind for your loved one’s future.