January 20, 2021
It may have come completely without warning: an unanticipated fall that caused a fractured hip and the requirement for Mom to have assistance to stay at home. Or, it may have been building up over the years, such as through the slow and incremental progression of Alzheimer’s disease. No matter the circumstances, you’ve now found yourself in the job of family caregiver, and may be wondering just what this means and how to navigate the uncharted waters of senior home care. That’s why Continuum has gathered some caregiving tips for new caregivers to help make the transition easier on you and your loved one.
First and foremost, take a deep breath, and a minute to acknowledge the selflessness of your choice. Caregiving is an incredibly rewarding undertaking, but not without its obstacles. A little proactive planning should go a long way towards an easier transition to senior home care, both for yourself and your loved one. A good starting point is to consider how you would both prefer each day to develop, making a simple timeline to record the daily activities and tasks that will need your attention. For example:
- 7 a.m.: Help Mom get out of bed, showered, dressed, and ready for the day
- 8 a.m.: Make breakfast and clean up
- 9 a.m.: Take Mom to physical therapy and/or exercise class
- 11 a.m.: Run errands with (or for) Mom
- 1 p.m.: Prepare lunch and tidy up
- 2 p.m.: Help Mom get settled in for afternoon activities: a movie, nap, reading, puzzles, engaging in a favorite pastime or hobby, etc.
- 6 p.m.: Make dinner and tidy up
- 8 p.m.: Help Mom with bedtime tasks – a bath, changing into pajamas, brushing teeth, etc.
- 10 p.m.: Help Mom get into bed
Your list will look different for each day, of course, but this offers a helpful guideline to let you know when you could have a little downtime to yourself, and when you’ll need to provide hands-on help.
This may also be an appropriate time to determine boundaries together – and also to agree to stick to them. Again, these will vary for each person as well as on different days, but determine what is essential to each of you: having a designated time each day for self-care and private time, when family and friends will come to visit, whether or not you intend to maintain a job outside the home, etc.
Know that Continuum is always available to assist as you adjust to your caregiving role with the backup care needed to ensure you are able to take care of yourself, too – something which is extremely important to both you and a loved one in your care. Give us a call at (314) 863-9912 for more information, or explore our service area in and around St. Louis.