When you’re brand new to being a caregiver, there’s so much that you don’t know yet and that you haven’t experienced. There’s so much to consider, in fact, that you might not realize fully what you’re getting into.
Here are just a few of the things you need to consider when becoming a caregiver.
If Anyone Else Requires Your Attention, Too
No one exists in a bubble. There are likely other people, maybe even a couple of pets, who need your time and attention. If you have a job, your boss probably wants a bit of your time, too. All of these aspects of your life need to be weighed against what your elderly family member needs from you in the form of care. If you’re going to be spread very thin from the beginning, you need to know now.
What Time You Can Devote to Caregiving
Once you have an idea what your obligations are, it’s time to break that information out in terms of time. Just how much time can you devote to caregiving? If your bits and pieces of available time are only something you can grab here and there, you need to know that. On the other hand, if you work a flexible job that allows you to have big chunks of free time, that’s helpful to think about, too.
Whether Other Family Members Can Help
Do you have other family members in the area? If you do, it might be time to find out if they can help or not. Your senior may not have wanted to ask those family members, so that’s something to consider, too. But you can’t do it all alone and that’s important for you to understand from the very outset. It might be worth it to learn about what home care providers can do for you now and in the future so that you’re not in a position where you need help but don’t have it.
Your Own Boundaries and Limitations
If you have health problems or you know that you require a great deal of time for yourself, you need to think about that right now. That’s definitely going to factor in to your experience as a caregiver. You also need to know about your other limitations. Do needles freak you out and your senior needs help with insulin shots? That is something you need to either work through or find a solution for now, rather than later.
You need to know what you’re getting into when you agree to be your senior’s caregiver. Gathering as much information as you can helps you to do that. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, because those can help you and your elderly family member get a plan together.