As we get older, it becomes harder to take care of ourselves without help. There are alternatives to moving into nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Some people would like to stay in their own homes, and some families make changes in their homes to welcome an older family member and care for them. Caring for older family members as their physical and mental abilities fail is not easy. It can also be expensive and strain the family budget.
Making Caregiving Less Demanding
There are at least four tips for making caregiving less demanding. These tips involve financial aid and more. The caregiver needs to take care of themselves and seek community help. The caregiver also needs to learn as much as they can about the mental and physical problems of their family members.
First, there are programs to help with the financial burden of caring for a family member. The cdpap program in New York state is designed to help families caring for their own. The family uses a fiscal intermediary such as FreedomCare to apply for this program. It is a consumer guided program from the New York State Medical initiative. The program is designed to help family members who require home care services. Qualified family members or others are chosen by them, make the homecare decisions and receive pay for their work. When a person is cared for by friends or family members they may do better. The financial compensation cuts down on the stress.
Next, find support. The caregiver needs to find support among other family members, neighbors, and friends. Once the primary caregiver understands the patient’s needs and the required tasks they involve, it is possible to ask for help. Making a list of the needed tasks and how to do them is a good start. Then, decide which family members or friends would be able and willing to do them. There are places to go for help including your church, caregiver support groups, and other caregiver organizations.
Take Care Of You
Third, know your feelings and deal with them before they hurt you. These feelings can include anger, guilt, grief, and anxiety. Confide in a trusted friend or professional counselor. In addition to dealing with your feelings, take care of yourself and your needs. Take a break each day to relax and talk to people. Take care of your own physical needs. Do not skip meals and daily exercise. Get enough sleep and take care of your own health issues.
Finally, set caregiving goals and seek solutions. Caregiving is possible with a few strategies such as setting goals, identifying problems and seeking solutions and keeping the lines of communication open. Don’t try to be a caregiver alone. Seek help from others close to the patient. Write down a list of goals for patient care and for yourself. Plan three to six months in advance. If a goal is written down, you will be more likely to accomplish it. An example would be to take time each day to walk or do other exercises or to make a list of possible helpers and contact them.
Identify your caregiving problems and seek solutions. There may be more than one solution, so make a list. Then try possible solutions one at a time. One solution may be to communicate your needs to others or to seek more help with caregiving tasks.
Caring for family members in their homes or in your home is possible in many cases. But, it is necessary to periodically review the situation with medical professionals.