Getting Started as a Caregiver

November is National Family Caregivers Month. If you are new to caregiving, you are probably overwhelmed by facing the transition and wondering what steps you will need to take. Of course, each situation is unique, but there are some common elements and some things you can do in the beginning that will make life much smoother and better for you and the loved one you are caring for.

Plan for the Future with Your Loved One

If your loved one is still capable of being involved in a discussion, talk to him and find out what he wants. Discuss his financial and healthcare wishes now, and make a plan for transferring responsibility.

Educate Yourself

Learn everything you can about your loved one’s condition, what to expect and what his needs will be. Get to know the healthcare professionals you will be working with.

Have a Meeting with Family and Friends

Get everyone together, and include your loved one if possible. You need to have a meeting where you discuss what is really going on, what the future may hold for your loved one, what his needs will be, and how friends and family can commit to helping.

Everyone is different and will have different strengths and types of availability. Those who cannot provide hands-on help may be more suited to researching the services you need or making phone calls for you.

Utilize the Resources Available

From the very beginning you need to get familiar with the resources in your community. There are many services for caregivers that can lighten the load and ultimately improve quality of life for your loved one. Check into services such as grocery delivery, Meals on Wheels, home health care services, and any groups that simply provide someone to sit with your loved one for an hour or two so that you can get some rest or run errands.

Plan Now for Taking Care of Yourself

This year’s theme for National Family Caregivers Month is “Respite: Care for Caregivers”. Most caregivers find that their own health suffers from the constant burden, and when that happens their caregiving suffers, too. Taking care of yourself is not a luxury. It is a necessity for both you and your loved one’s well-being.


Altrumedia About Altrumedia

Altrumedia operates an extensive online network to connect people in need with qualified help and information. Although we specialize in legal web marketing, we can help any business increase traffic and develop new leads. Services include: Web Design, Social Media Marketing, Custom Videos, eNewsletters, Display Ads, Directory Listings, and more.