If your parent or another family member becomes ill, you may want to step in to provide the care they need. However, even with all the best intentions, caring for a family member is hard work.
The financial and emotional toll of being a family caregiver has been well-documented. In fact, it’s estimated that family caregivers provide over half a trillion dollars each year in unpaid labor to care for loved ones.
With the cost of paid senior care going up, it is clear why caregivers are experiencing depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues in higher numbers than ever before.
If you want or need to become a caregiver, it’s important to know what to expect. Keep reading to find out what these expectations are.
What Does Being a Family Caregiver Mean?
Family caregivers often live in the same house as the person who is receiving care. The caregiver will provide help with almost anything.
This includes bathing and dressing to help with physical therapy, medical procedures, setting up medical equipment like a CDPAP and more. Caregivers can also make medical appointments, provide rides to doctor’s appointments, and also speak to care managers and doctors to better understand what needs to happen.
Help You Loved One Maintain a Sense of Autonomy
It’s important to remember that being a caregiver isn’t about completely taking over your loved one’s life. Remember, this is still an adult, and they still have personal preferences and needs.
The person you are providing care for has the right to live life on their own terms. Make sure you don’t lose sight of that. Even if you feel like you know what is best, it’s important to make sure the person you are caring for is involved with decisions.
It’s a Rewarding Experience
Even if you have a loved one who is challenging, caregiving can still be an extremely rewarding experience. It is easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day grind of providing care, but your efforts and time don’t seem too rewarding if you take on this short-sided perspective.
In the future, you will likely view the time you got to spend with your loved one as very rewarding. If you feel overwhelmed at times, make sure you take some time away to think about the big picture.
The Availability of Support
It’s important to remember, caring for a loved one is rewarding. However, it can also be financially, emotionally, and physically challenging.
A quick search online will show you several sources of support. It is a good idea to tap into these sources and all they have to offer.
Are You Ready to Become a Caregiver?
Sometimes, a person is forced to become a caregiver, even if they are not ready. If you find yourself in a caregiving position, keep the information here in mind, which will help you know what to expect.
If you found the information here helpful, be sure to check out the other blogs we have posted. Our goal is to provide you with valuable information that will help you with important tasks.