Becoming a family caregiver is a huge undertaking that can be very overwhelming. Everyday at Freudenthal Home Health we get to meet and help some of the unsung heroes of family caregiving. We are starting a series of blog posts based on the wisdom of these seasoned caregivers to help those who are just starting down the road.
So where do you begin?
Be realistic about what you can and can't handle.
Becoming a family caregiver is a huge commitment. There are many family caregivers who have reported that they didn't realize it would be this tough. This is a commitment that not only can drain your time, it can also put stress on your finances and emotional well-being. You might be planning for only spending 5 years caring for your family member, when realistically you may actually need to plan for 15 to 20.
Don't hesitate to ask for help.
It's always good to also plan for times when you may need help caring for your family members, especially when you need to recharge your own battery. Freudenthal Home Health provides many in-home care options that can help alleviate some of the stress of day to day caregiving. Depending on your loved one's financial situation or veteran status, you may also be able to get assistance from federal and state programs.
Get advice on what to expect over time.
Many medical conditions like heart disease, COPD, and diabetes are progressive illnesses that change over time. Reach out to your loved one's doctors and get an idea of how their illness may evolve and effect the care they need as they age. These changes may even effect wether or not they can remain living at home.
Ultimately, it's important to remember that you don't have to travel this road alone. At Freudenthal Home Health, we really do care about our clients and their caregivers and we enjoy getting the opportunity to support them in their day to day struggle to age in place.