Finding out that you suddenly need to be a caregiver to your aging adult can be shocking. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try following these steps.
Talk with Your Loved One and Her Doctor
You’ve just found out that there’s a need for extra care, so it’s time to sort out what that means. Talk to your aging family member, if you’re able to do so, as well as her doctor. Determining what’s going on now and what’s likely to happen down the line gives you a lot of information that you’ll need to develop a care plan for your senior.
Form a Team of Other Family Members
If your senior has other family members in the area, figure out which of them are able to help out with her care. They may not be able to devote as much time and energy to the task as you can, but they can help you to carry some of the load. Even if they can only help a little bit now, don’t get discouraged. Remember that situations and plans do change and they may be able to help more down the line.
Develop a Plan
With what you know about your senior’s needs and her future health, as well as your current care team status, you can start to put a plan together. Having a plan for who takes care of what and how your senior’s needs are going to get met allows you to keep everyone informed. It also establishes a routine that helps you to meet the other obligations in your life.
Find a Support System for Yourself
No matter how much other help you have, you need your own support system. This might mean attending a support group meeting for other caregivers once a week or it might mean leaning on home care providers as you learn more about caring for your aging adult. There’s nothing wrong with getting as much help together as you possibly can.
Remember to reevaluate your plans regularly and see what’s working and what isn’t. This helps you to ensure that you’re meeting changing needs as well as you can.