This role is not an easy one. You have had to adjust your life to meet the needs of another. There are rewards for caring for a loved one: you might feel fulfilled and reassured that your loved one is being well cared for. There are challenges associated with the role as well. Feeling unprepared, stressed or alone is normal. While all caregiving situations are unique, you share the role of caregiver with 50 million others caring for adult family members.
Adjusting to the role of caregiver will take time. There are steps you can take to ease yourself into the role of caregiver.
Learn about your loved one’s condition. Even if you have been in the role of caregiver for a while, learning more can prepare you for changes that may come and give you the peace of mind that only knowledge can bring.
Engage in legal and financial planning. This can be a delicate matter. When possible, it is important that these matters be discussed with your loved one. The more someone feels they have control over their lives, the more comfort they will have in dealing with uncomfortable matters. Further, engaging the professional assistance of a lawyer is recommended.
Connect your loved one and yourself with community resources. Most communities offer resources providing meal delivery, respite or other services to meet the needs of you and your loved one. Again, speak to your loved one about what resources might be helpful.
Take care of yourself. You can often become so caught up in caring for your loved one that you may forget to take care of yourself. It is recommended that you consistently make time for yourself: spend time with friends, engage in your hobbies and keep up with your life.