Top 10 Concerns of Caregivers
Article submitted by Rebecca Sharp Colmer, Me & My Caregivers – 800-530-9129
When you are starting out as a family caregiver, it's hard to know where to start. Caregivers need information, knowledge, skills, and a good attitude. The demands of providing care depend on many variables. Yet no two caregiving situations are exactly alike. It is no wonder that most new caregivers say they are not sure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide the best care for their loved one.
It is difficult to implement a strategy or care plan is you don't have a baseline understanding of your care-receiver's condition. It helps to know what to expect. Knowledge helps. So do tools and resources.
In addition, caregivers must be able to manage specific day-to-day activities while maintaining an objective and positive attitude. Caregivers not only have to take care of the care-receiver, they have to take care of themselves. Self-confidence and self-valuing are a must.
If you are a new caregiver, you probably have asked these questions:
- What services are available to help caregivers? Many new caregivers do not know about adult day care, residential facilities, disease-specific services, and organizations that specialize in care coordination.
- How do other caregivers deal with stress? What are the best coping strategies? Are there caregiving support groups? Because of time constraints, are online support groups okay?
- Where can I find financial help concerning long term financial planning? Who can help me navigate the insurance maze?
- Where can I get specific information on the care-receiver's disease? What can I expect? What can I do to help?
- What questions should I be asking healthcare professionals? How do I best coordinate the care-receiver's care?
- How do I communicate with someone who has dementia? How do I handle inappropriate behavior?
- What legal issues should I be aware of?
- Where can I get information about drugs? Where do I get help with medication management?
- How do I get trained in care tasks, such as moving and bathing a care-receiver or using medical equipment?
- Is there help available for addressing end-of-life issues?
If you are new to caregiving it is a good idea to establish a Care Team. In addition to family members, your Care Team may include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lawyers, and others. Be proactive and ask these professionals to coach you in caring for your loved one. Show this list to them and ask them for their help and support. Seek out help from people in the community: the next door neighbor and other friends. Find a directory of senior services and resources and start plugging in to the networks. The earlier you find support, the better.