Six Ways New Caregivers Can SucceedApril 27, 2021
Six Ways New Caregivers Can Succeed: You’d been taking care of your elderly parents (or family members) for a while. They wanted to continue living at home, but they needed some help around the house. So you would bring them groceries, assist them with personal care, or pick up their prescriptions for them.
As time progressed, they needed more help than you could provide after working all day, so you decided to become a paid caregiver for your elderly parents to maintain their quality of life. Here are some ways to ensure that your parents receive the best care possible; as well as ensuring that you are healthy and successful.
1. Take Charge of Your Elderly Parents’ Care
Your whole life, your parents have been in charge. Even after you moved away from home, they still weighed in on important topics like what job you should take and who you should (and shouldn’t) date.
They also probably gave you advice on less important topics like when to get the oil changed in your car and “Are you sure you should pay that much for a vacation?” So it may be unusual for you to be in a position of authority with them. But taking charge of their care is sometimes exactly what you need to do.
When you first start providing care, you’ll work with your home care agency to determine a care plan that shows how often you provide services, and what home care services you will provide. Discuss with your elderly parents what is in that plan, and be ready for objections.
Most elderly parents will claim they don’t need as much help as the care plan provides for, but it’s important that you remind them that you need to perform these services in order to succeed in your career as a caregiver.
2. Communicate with Your Elderly Parents, and Listen to Their Concerns
However, it should be noted that your elderly parents may have some concerns about you providing care for them. Communicate with them, listen to their concerns, and also help them understand your concerns. Many caregivers report that the experience of taking care of their parents has helped them feel closer to their family, but it can also raise old wounds.
That’s why honest communication is so important. You may have to revisit some unpleasant past topics in order to move on to meeting your parents’ current needs.
3. Set Boundaries for Your Home Care
Like any job, providing at-home care for your elderly parents can start to feel as though it is taking over your life. Because your “client” is, in this case, also your parent, you want to do as much as possible for them, making it difficult to say no.
But saying no (or at least saying “not now”) is important as well. Of course, you’ll want to be flexible with things like schedules, but sticking to the care plan is important for them and for you. Caregiver stress and caregiver burnout are very real, and they can affect the quality of care you provide.
4. Caregivers Need to Take Care of Themselves, Too
Speaking of caregiver stress and burnout, taking care of yourself is an important part of providing in-home care for your elderly parents. Whether it’s taking time off from providing care or just dealing with the everyday stress of the work, experts agree that caregivers need to care for themselves as well. Whether it’s getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, or getting exercise, practicing self-care will keep you mentally and physically able to provide the best possible care to your elderly parents.
5. Ask for the Help You Need
One way you can take care of yourself is; to help share a small part of the burden with others in your family. Even though you are being paid to care for your elderly parents, that doesn’t mean that others in the family can’t help out as well.
Even if they live in a different city, talk to your siblings about helping with providing care. You may also find that friends and neighbors are happy to chip in to help out. But they won’t even know you want help unless you ask.
6. Work with Your Home Care Agency to Address Issues
Your Home Care Agency is there to provide you with the tools and training you need to be successful. When issues arise, your agency can help you to deal with them. Whether it’s a scheduling issue; or finding someone to provide care when you need time off. Working with a reliable home care agency can make a difference.
Home Care Powered by AUAF Can Help You Succeed
Becoming a paid caregiver for your elderly parents can be a difficult, but rewarding decision. Having the right home care agency on your side can make all the difference. That’s why Home Care Powered by AUAF works with you to provide the training and expertise you need to succeed. Call us at 773-274-9262 or contact us to get started.
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