This article about family caretaking is sponsored by Alpine Home Medical.
Family caretaking is a lot of responsibility to take on. Not only can it be a financial burden, but it can also be taxing on your own wellbeing physically and emotionally. When you choose to be a caretaker for someone you love it’s important to know what you have signed up for.
Actor Rob Lowe was a caregiver with his brothers while his mother went through stage 4 breast cancer. He says in a USA Today article that “caregivers themselves often end up paying a high cost, both physically and financially.” So how can you be a better caregiver for your loved one? Here are 7 tips to simplify the journey of family caretaking.
1. Be Patient with Family Caregiving
Patience is a virtue. But being patient when it comes to in-home caregiving is something you’ll have to regularly work on. In this stressful difficult time, no matter what the reasons are that they need care, it is important to provide your loved ones care in ways that are respectful of their freedoms.
2. Never Make them Feel Incapable
Be considerate. Your loved one may feel embarrassed about things like being in a wheelchair and needing help. Just make them feel as comfortable as possible. Also, avoid telling them ‘no’, and try to make them feel like they aren’t going to be denied anything.
3. Have the Right Equipment
Make sure all the equipment you need for basic health care and comfort is readily accessible. Anything from wheelchairs to orthopedic cushions can make your efforts easier. This is a great time to see how Alpine Home Medical can help you and your loved one with home medical equipment and comfort devices to make the process as easy and as comfortable as possible.
4. Be Willing to Accept Help
You may feel like you need to take this burden on alone since you agreed to do it. But there will come a time when someone offers to help you. Don’t feel like you are letting anyone down if you can’t do it all. And accepting this help really will help you as much as it will help the loved one you are taking care of.
5. Look Into Home-Based Services
You can also look into other services like physical, occupational, speech and music therapy as these can all be provided at home. The best places to check would be the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Veterans Affairs, or you can look for community-based organizations in your area. If you hire anyone to aid you in the caretaking of your loved one, just make sure they are properly vetted.
6. Make Basic Home Modifications to Keep Safety a Top Priority
About half of all falls happen in the home. To make your home safer remove tripping hazards, install grab bars in the shower and bathroom areas, and improve the lighting as much as possible. Preventing falls can be fairly easy, just a little foresight and some slight home modifications really can go a long way. Check out a more in-depth article about preventing falls here.
7. Take Breaks for You
This is absolutely the most important part of becoming a caregiver to a family member or a loved one. You need to make sure you are taking care of your wellbeing too. It’s easy to feel guilty if you need a break. You’ll just need to move past that though. There can be a lot of responsibility that goes along with caregiving. Don’t be afraid to take a little bit of ‘me’ time, and again, be willing to accept help from others so that you can have that ‘me’ time to recharge your drained batteries.
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