What Should You Know as a Caregiver from the Start?
If you’re new to being a family caregiver, that feeling that you don’t even know what you don’t know can be overwhelming. What you might need to do is to sit down and ask yourself about some of these topics. They can help you to figure out how to proceed so that you do the best job you can, and when it’s time to bring in companion care at home.
How Much Time You Have for Being a Caregiver
You know you want to be a caregiver for someone in your life, but how much time can you devote to caregiving, really? You may not have as much time as you think you do, especially if you have a career, a family, and other obligations. Will you have to rearrange anything or figure out a different plan for certain areas of your life? It’s important to know that as soon as possible.
Who All Needs Your Time and Your Energy
This is slightly different from the last question, but it might look the same. First, you’re looking at your bigger blocks of time and what your different roles are, such as caregiver, friend, parent, employee. But now you’re looking at who specifically needs your time and energy the most. Which people, pets, and entities need your time and energy? That detail matters.
What Your Limits Are
You’ve got additional limitations, too. Your own health factors into these decisions and what you need in terms of time for yourself and time to devote to pursuits that matter to you. If you need a great deal of sleep, that’s important to consider, because as a caregiver you may find that interrupted more often than you are comfortable with. Think about as many variables as you can, like what you are comfortable helping you senior with and what you aren’t. Companion care at home is great in this regard since there isn’t a family connection that can make personal care tasks awkward.
If You’re on Your Own with This
Will anyone else be helping you? Many caregivers have other family members who can help, but all too many have no one in the family who can help them. If you can lean on friends for help, that might be something to consider, too. You’re never completely on your own as a caregiver, but if you don’t establish your support system early on, you can start to believe that you are completely alone.
How to Incorporate Companion Care at Home
Your senior parent might be reluctant to accept outside help, and that may be the reason why you feel obligated to be their family caregiver. If you have asked yourself the above questions and determined that it would be impossible to me a caregiver on your own, it’s time to have an honest conversation with your parent. Helping them understand the many benefits of companion care at home and how it can help them age in place is vital. Consider having a companion care provider make a short visit to talk with your parent and get to know them.
All of this is important for you to consider early on in the caregiving process. If you don’t start to think about some of these details, you might feel as if you’ve gotten blindsided along the way.