Being a caregiver can be an incredibly rewarding experience, especially when you can see the positive impact you’re having on a loved one’s life. However, caregiving can also be difficult. Here are a few tips to help you be successful.
Ask/plan to be in attendance when the discharge plan is discussed. An extra set of eyes and ears can be helpful.
Take care of yourself, eat, exercise and rest when your body tells you to.
Prepare the home prior to the patient arriving. For example:
- Remove trip hazards or install any safety or grab bars
- Pick-up any assistive medical devices (also known as durable medical equipment)
- Go grocery shopping, if there are dietary restrictions
- Pick-up any new prescription medicines
Don’t help too much. Part of the healing process is being able to do certain tasks independently—whether it’s regaining the strength to perform these tasks or completely relearning how to do these tasks.
Write down questions. Like the patient, you probably have many questions and from a different perspective. Be sure to bring these questions with you to your follow-up appointment(s).
Know your limits. Know what you can and can’t help with. Ask for recommendations on how to get help with tasks you can’t perform. When caregiving becomes too much, know that it’s okay, there are many community resources available to ensure the safety and health of your loved one.
Remember that you are not alone. If you need support, please contact the Case Management Department at St. Mary's 207-777-8506.