The decision to become a family caregiver is not one you should take lightly. While you may be looking forward to spending more time with your senior loved one, it is also normal to worry about whether or not you have what it takes to keep him or her healthy and happy. While there is no easy answer, you can make the right decision for your family by understanding the following essential aspects of being a caregiver.
It Requires a Serious Time Commitment
Family caregivers spend large parts of their time caring for their loved one’s needs. While you may only anticipate needing to help your loved one a few hours a week in the beginning, it is likely that the time you spend caregiving will increase over the years. Look at your current schedule to determine how much time you have available to be a caregiver. If you worry about meeting other family and work obligations, explore your options for help, such as having a professional caregiver step in when you must tend to other duties.
Des Moines, IA, in-home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
You Must Take Care of Your Health
Once you become a family caregiver, your loved one depends on you to help him or her manage tasks such as cleaning the house and getting dressed in the morning. In some instances, you may also be required to lift your loved one if he or she has limited mobility. Make sure your health is up to the demands required as a caregiver, and schedule exams and treatments as necessary.
It Is Critical to Plan for the Future
Your experience as a caregiver will change along with your loved one’s health. For senior care, you can expect that each year brings new duties to your day. While you may not be able to anticipate everything that could happen, you should make certain you can manage new needs that arise with chronic conditions. For instance, if your loved one has Alzheimer’s, making a plan to address wandering now gives you reassurance you can handle the behavior in the future.
Every senior living with Alzheimer’s deserves high-quality Alzheimer’s care. Des Moines, IA, families can rely on the caregivers at Home Care Assistance to keep their loved ones safe while managing the symptoms of the disease. Using our Cognitive Therapeutics Method, our caregivers help seniors regain a sense of pride and accomplishment while slowing the rate of cognitive decline.
You Need a Support Network
The can-do attitude that makes you an ideal caregiver could also lead to burnout. Avoid making the mistake of thinking you can do everything on your own. Caregiving may take an emotional and physical toll on your health, which can be minimized when you reach out for help. Create a list of people you can turn to when the time comes, such as family members, friends, and professional caregivers.
It Is Rewarding
People sometimes focus on the drawbacks of caregiving. However, there are many rewards to becoming a family caregiver. Over the next several months to years, you will become closer to your loved one as you spend more time together. From watching your loved one recover after a surgery to sharing a smile at a silly joke, each moment you spend with your loved one is truly special.
Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Des Moines, IA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To create a customized in-home care plan for your aging loved one, give us a call at (515) 264-2438 today.