Page 55

19434PA

to find something you can do with a friend outside of the home, if possible. This is one of those times where you need to Ask For Help so that you can get out of the house for an hour or two. Care for your own physical health, and your mental well being. You may be so preoccupied with your loved one’s health, that you forget about your own. The suggestions above will help reduce your stress and will keep your body fit for the challenges you will face. Get regular check-ups, get your mammogram or prostate screenings. If you are on medications yourself, don’t forget to take them and monitor your own health. Talk to other caregivers. There are many wonderful groups both online and in person where you can share, laugh and give support to others just like you. You must take breaks from caregiving. Studies show that prolonged periods of caregiving can adversely affect your physical and psychological health. Taking breaks gives you a chance to recharge your batteries. Just like in sports, you take breaks, “time outs,” so that you can perform at your best. Caregiving is no different. RULE NUMBER 3 FOR BEING A GOOD CAREGIVER: LEARN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN Educate yourself about... • How to give care. Take caregiving training if available. This will prepare you for what you need to know and how you should provide care in all aspects of caregiving. • Their disease, illness or accident. Learn how to communicate with and navigate the health care system. Maintain good health care records. The more you know, the better you can care and cope. • Financial matters. Understand insurance, Medicare and Medicaid issues, and know about the care recipient’s finances, if relevant. Maintain good financial records. Look at hiring an accountant or a financial advisor if you do not understand the money end of caring. Look at protecting assets long term so that you are able to keep caring for your loved one. • Legal issues. Look at finding an elder law attorney to deal with durable powers of attorney, advance directives, Medicaid planning issues and much more. Conclusion Understand that you don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be willing to take on the responsibility of caregiving. Love enough to care and care enough to love. The old saying is still true today. “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Sit and make a list of what you think are the most important things you need to do on a daily basis to care for your loved one. Once you do this, you will find out where to spend your time and won’t sweat the small stuff. MORE INFO ONLINE: POLKELDERCARE.COM More on Family Caregivers • How to Create a Safe Home Environment • Legal Issues and Finding an Elder Law Attorney • Caring for Memory Impaired Loved Ones • Taking Time Out for Caregivers Respite Care www.PolkElderCare.com 55


19434PA
To see the actual publication please follow the link above