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Tips for Brand New Caregivers


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By Brenda Enright
Owner of Home Instead Senior Care Etobicoke

Daughter helping her Dad recovering from a stroke

Helpful Suggestions to Encourage You

When Mom has a stroke, and Dad cannot care for her and himself, you may find that your role as the child quickly changes to that of caregiver. More and more adult children are experiencing the switch, and they are not sure how to handle it. How do you go from watching your mother make her great grandmother’s famous apple cake, to watching her wander the house because she is disoriented from dementia? The stress is high, and caregivers across the country are experiencing burnout. If you are brand new to the role, rest assured you are not alone.

Take proactive steps to keep yourself and your relationships in check. A trained personal support worker from Home Instead Senior Care Etobicoke is always ready to assist you with senior care, household duties, and cooking nutritious meals. We want your loved one with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia to be able to age in their home.

7 Helpful Tips for Brand New Caregivers

Starting out in this demanding role can be intimidating, but here are some useful suggestions from those who have gone before you. Following them can help to ease the transition:

  1. Talk with your loved one before any care is needed: One of the best things you can do is to talk with Mom before she needs help. Find out what her wishes are. Does she want to stay in her home or move in with you? When might she consider a skilled nursing facility or in-home help? Having this discussion now can help later.
  2. Learn as much as you can about your senior’s diagnosis and prognosis: Knowledge is power. Take some time to understand better what your Dad’s diagnosis means to his ability to stay at home. Will he recover entirely or will he need constant help?
  3. Avoid being too hard on yourself: You are going to have days when everything seems to be going wrong, and you blame yourself. Do your best to give yourself some slack and know there will good and bad days.
  4. Keep your health as a top priority: You are not useful to your ailing parent if you are sick. Keep up with your health, including making time for regular doctor and dentist appointments. Try to squeeze in some exercise, at least a few times a week, and remember to eat healthy. If you can, try to include your senior in the process.
  5. Call in the troops: You are not an island and there is no need to try and be one. Instead, you need all the help you can get. Enlist the help of family and friends. When people offer to assist you, take them up on it. You will be glad you did.
  6. Enlist professional respite care services: Everyone needs a little time to themselves. Respite care can help achieve this. A personal support worker can quickly step in and cover things while you head out for lunch with friends or a weekend away.
  7. Take time for social engagements: It is easy to turn down time with friends because of your new duties toward caring for Dad. Try to remain socially engaged for your sake and your family’s.

Ease Caregiver Burden When You Choose Home Instead Senior Care

Take the needed steps to keep caregiver stress to a minimum, especially when you are brand new to the role. The supportive team at Home Instead Senior Care Etobicoke is eager to help you with many services such as respite care, transportation, cooking, and personal care. You can depend on us during this season of life.

Call us at (416) 239-2200 to book an in-home consultation. Our PSWs and trained caregivers serve families in our Etobicoke community with compassionate, quality home care.

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