So you've made the transition from child, niece/nephew, friend, or acquaintance to caregiver. Now what? Too many people have a wrong view of caregiving and end up either burning themselves out or give up on the task. To prevent such instances from happening to you, consider the following tips for your new role in life.
1. Don't make promises if you aren't sure you can keep them. Promising to be everywhere at once or help more people than you can is a sure fire way to overwork yourself to the point of not being able to help the one person you need to—your loved one.
2. Even though you are now tasked with caring for an elderly loved one, remember there are other people in life who depend on you as well. Whether a spouse, children, extended family, coworkers, or friends—don't sacrifice anyone in your life. Find a balance between the two facets of your life.
3. You are not alone in this new role. Don't try to shoulder the entire weight of caregiving. No human being can do so! Turn to others for support, take time for you, and allow others to help. You will be no good as a caregiver if you wear yourself down.
4. Naturally, you will have fears with this new job—fears of how to go about caregiving, fears about balancing your life, fears about losing your loved one. Also, your loved one will have fears as well. Talk out these fears with family members. Allow others to carry the emotional burden of this for you.
5. Despite their age, your parent or loved one still wishes to be involved in their care. As long as they have mental capabilities, involve them! Don't infantilize them, but talk over major decisions with them and seek their input.
6. As gung ho as you might be initially, you'll need to sit down and set limits for yourself. Choose a “day off” each week when someone else can step in to care for your loved one while you renew yourself. Delegate tasks to others if possible (doctor's visits, shopping, cleaning etc). This all works into your plan of balancing your life with the new role of caregiving.
You are now the caregiver for your loved one, but don't fear! Remember to reach out to others for help and value caring for yourself as you spend extra time with your loved one.
If you would like more information concerning estate planning, contact Antelope Valley estate planning law firm Thompson | Von Tungeln (TVT) at (661) 426-2499 or visit their websites at www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com and www.Medi-CalHelp.com. www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com is a comprehensive online resource for personal wealth management solutions through wills and revocable trusts. www.Medi-CalHelp.com is a comprehensive online resource for long term nursing home care for the middle class. As Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, partners Mark E. Thompson and Kevin L. Von Tungeln are expertly equipped to serve clients with the creative, effective and custom solutions they demand.