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Should You be a Caregiver For Your Loved One?

Everyone wants the best care for their loved ones. But, how do you know what that is? If you are considering becoming a caregiver, there are many factors to weigh. Think about what’s best for you and your family, and know that every family will have its own answer to this question. Many choose to get help caring for their loved one.

What Does Your Loved One Want?

Be sure to make this decision together with your loved one. What they say might surprise you. They may prefer to stay in their house and have you be their primary caregiver, but they might also prefer to live in a senior living facility to be around people their age. Maybe they’d prefer part- or full-time in-home care. Regardless, it is essential that you understand their point of view before assuming the caregiver role.

Do You Have Time to Adequately Care For Your Loved One?

Making time to care for a loved one can be demanding, but 65 million Americans manage it, so there’s a good chance you can find a way too. If you work a full-time job, you might be able to arrange a more flexible work schedule so that you can drop in regularly and be available for medical appointments.

Are You Ready Emotionally to Be a Caregiver?

In addition to the time commitment, being a caregiver can be emotionally challenging. If often means a reversal of parent-child roles, and may require you to take the lead in making both day-to-day decisions and more important ones as care needs evolve. Be ready for some added stress, but also know that there are lots of tools and techniques [link to How to Ease into a Family Caregiver Role blog] to help you become an effective caregiver while keeping good life balance.

Do You Have the Right Tools to Meet Their Needs?

Medication management is a common responsibility among family caregivers, and a significant source of stress. There are many tools and resources to make medication management easier for both caregivers and their loved ones. Automated medication dispensers with reminders and connected mobile apps are an excellent option.

You will need to find out if your loved one’s needs require training or medical equipment. An example of this is a loved one needing help with insulin injections. Does your loved one need help getting dressed in the morning or with their bathing routine? If so, consider if that’s something you can do alone, or something you need assistance with. You can hire part-time assistance for your loved one and still be their primary caregiver.

Medical Visits

Chances are that your loved one will have recurring medical visits. It’s important to make the most out of these visits and ask doctors or medical professionals any questions and voice any concerns that have come up since the last appointment. It’s important to know the details of your loved ones medication routine, especially if they take multiple medications. Organization is a key trait of caregiving, and keeping medications coordinated, recorded and updated is important.

It’s Up to You to Decide if Becoming a Caregiver is the Right Choice

If you choose to be your loved one’s caregiver, make sure to find balance. Make time for yourself to relax and make sure your needs are met. When you make appointments for your loved one, schedule them for yourself as well. If being a caregiver for your loved one is not an option, there are many great alternatives such as in-home care or senior living facilities. Choosing whether or not to be a caregiver for your loved is a big decision, so take the time to decide what’s right for you and your loved one.

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