Susan suddenly became a caregiver when her mother fell and broke her hip. In the blink of an eye, she went from checking in on her mom once a week to daily care. While not all caregiving begins so abruptly, when it does happen, you may feel as though you will need a plan in place to keep everything going. As a caregiver, you must take care of your own responsibilities as well as those of others. We suggest you follow our planning guide so that you can take care of your needs and those of your loved one.
First, you’ll need to figure out which tasks need to be performed and when. Consider everything from everyday care and hygiene to doctor’s appointments as well as your usual activities including social events. If you didn’t use a calendar before, you may want to start using one now so that you don’t miss anything.
You’ll also need to make sure you have access to any legal documents such as birth certificates, insurance cards, and other relevant paperwork you may require. Make copies and keep these all in a safe place.
Life as a caregiver is physically and emotionally taxing. Be sure you have supports in place to give yourself a break. This is also helpful so that others are aware of how to perform basic care should you become ill or need to travel. Resources such astransParent Concierge are great options when you need help with transportation or simply require companion services when you or another family member can’t be with your loved one.
Finally, talk with your loved one. If the person is able to discuss his or her needs with you, do your best to have a conversation about what is expected and how needs can be met.
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