Sometimes we are abruptly thrown into the role of caregiver or a loved one has had a sudden illness and now needs a lot of additional support. Or it is a gradual process and it is harder to determine when it is time to start taking over someone’s life.
Some of our top tips to navigate this journey are below:
- Start early by having meaningful conversations long before you need to discuss these issues. Adult children might want to start talking to their parents about caregiving when they reach the age of 70. Ask all those tough questions, it may not be an easy conversation but it is better to start early versus waiting for a crisis to occur.
- Check into local resources for caregivers. Organizations like the Red Cross and the Alzheimer’s Society may offer educational classes in caregiving that could be invaluable.
- Support groups or coaching for caregivers are a great way to exchange tips and advice.
- Seek Help before you are completely overwhelmed with caregiving. Also, look into the types of help you might be able to get at home or in local senior centers and adult day cares.
- Research and visit local senior care facilities and nursing homes. Be informed about what is in your community.
- Self Care: It is our first instinct to put the person we are caring for before ourselves. But it does take its toll on caregivers and is so important to take care of both your mental and physical health as priorities.
- Be Realistic: Allow yourself to cope with feelings of sadness is essential, seek out support if you are in need.
- Get Organized: Consider all legal and financial obligations and care preferences. Make sure you have spoken to your loved ones about them. It may seem like a difficult conversation to have at first, but you will thank yourself later.