At first, being a caregiver for your senior family member can seem like something that you’ll never get a handle on. Try some of these steps in setting up a caregiving plan and see if they help.
Make Sure You Have a Solid Understanding of Your Aging Adult’s Health
You need to sit down with your elderly family member and her medical team and get a full picture of what’s going on with your senior’s health. This involves getting information about her current situation as well as her future prognosis. You’ll keep learning about her health conditions throughout your caregiving journey, so it’s important to have a strong base on which to build.
Sort Through any Special Needs
Some of your aging adult’s health concerns might require special consideration. For example, your elderly family member may not be able to drive anymore, which requires transportation assistance. Or you might need to consider adding some safety measures, such as grab bars, to her home. Building a list now allows you to prioritize it and tackle each item one by one.
Involve Family Members Who Can Help
You’re not alone on this journey, either. Other family members likely want to help, but they may not be sure what to do or what you need. Set up a meeting and get everyone on board with the current situation. From there, you can work out who can help in what ways.
Set up a Support System for Yourself
Whether you’ve got plenty of help from other family members or not, you do still need a support system for yourself. This can involve friends, your family members, and even support groups that you join. Another level of support that you really need is respite care. This can be in the form of elderly care providers or family members who are willing and able to pitch in and help.
Enjoy the Process
The best thing that you can do for your elderly family member and for yourself is to enjoy the journey that you’re on. Being able to care for your aging adult is a gift and although the path can be rocky, there are lessons every day.
Caregiving is not always easy, but it doesn’t have to knock you off your feet, either.