Being a caregiver means providing help to a member of your family, or a close friend, perform daily activities/tasks. Caregiving can be stressful because it can be hard to watch a member of your family struggle with basic daily tasks. Due to how difficult being a caregiver can be, there are things that you need to keep in mind. These 10 tips will make caregiving easier.
1. Look for Guidance
When you are beginning as a caretaker you must be able to ask for help. You must realize that you are new at this and may struggle at times. When you struggle you cannot be afraid to ask for help, whether it be advice or actual help with your caregiving duties.
Asking for help will make the difficult tasks much easier and manageable. It is also helpful to know that someone is willing to help you when you need it.
2. Do Research
Research can be crucial in being a good caregiver. Researching different techniques and asking others how to approach certain situations can be good background knowledge to have. Your research does not have to be traditional research, but you can observe other caregivers see how they approach certain situations.
3. Prepare for Change
You must prepare for the individuals that you are caring for to change. They may be dealing with diseases that can affect their brain, which may cause their personality to shift and change. You must be ready for this to happen and adapt to it.
You must also be ready for your life to change because you are going to be dedicating so much of your time to these people.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself is incredibly important because it can be lost at times when you are taking care of others. You are dedicating a lot of your time to making sure the person you are taking care of is doing well and feeling loved. This can cause you to lose track of your well-being.
You can do this by making sure that you set aside sometime each day for yourself to do activities that keep you happy. This can be as simple as taking a bath or listening to your favorite podcast. It is important to feel healthy mentally, especially when you are taking care of others.
5. Develop A Plan
Developing a plan for daily activities can make your job much easier. Having certain activities planned for the individuals you are caring for will make your job much easier. It will also show that the individuals that you are caring for that do care for them enough to set up fun activities throughout the day.
6. Constantly Communicate
Communication between you and those you are caring for is key. Knowing how they are doing every day can change how you want to care for them. If they are frustrated or distressed, then you may want to take a different approach from what you would do if they were happy and excited.
7. Be Flexible
Being flexible is key when you are a caregiver. You must take the approach that every day is different, and you have to go with the flow. If you assume that a patient is feeling a certain way, then you may not be caring for them properly.
This website breaks down the importance of being flexible and how you can do this as a caregiver: work flexibility.org.
8. Have Patience
You must have patience because these individuals are older, and it takes them longer to do things than it used to. These individuals are frustrated with themselves and if you show you are frustrated it will only make them more frustrated with themselves and you.
9. Foster Creativity
Fostering creativity can help your patients remember some of their memories as they are aging. By doing certain activities they may be able to associate memories with certain things. For example, if you were to bake with your patient, then they may remember a memory of them baking with their kids. Food memory can be a great way for individuals to associate certain memories with certain foods.
10. Have A Sense of Humor
Having a sense of humor can be a great way to connect with the individuals you are caring for. If you can make them laugh, then they may feel that they can be more open with you and enjoy your company.
These 10 tips can help you become a better caregiver immediately. If you are caring for a member of your family, then you can work on these things while caring for them. If you are looking to pursue caregiving as a career, then you should work these things into your everyday life.
Article by McKenzie Jones
Mckenzie is a freelance Writer and Blogger