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What to Ask Yourself Before Becoming a Family Caregiver

When a loved one needs help, it’s natural to want to do everything possible to ensure his or her wellbeing. Yet, becoming a caregiver requires careful thought before you take on such a huge responsibility. Before you commit to caregiving, take into consideration the following questions that will help you determine if you’re making the right decision for your family.

Do You Have Support from Your Spouse?

Caregiving can be hard on a marriage, and it is especially challenging for partners who must suddenly take on more household responsibilities. Scheduling conflicts, missed time together, and role changes regarding children are often sources of stress for caregivers and their spouse. Talk to your spouse about how you will manage potential stressors before they occur, and make sure he or she is capable of being supportive during the transition.

How Is Your Health?

Providing long-term home care to someone else can wreak havoc on your health if you do not take precautions. Disrupted sleep, fatigue, stress, and missed health appointments can all add up to serious health problems over a period of time. If it has been awhile since you have seen a doctor, schedule a checkup to make sure you are physically capable of performing your caregiving duties. Then, make a plan for keeping up with your physical needs.

How Is Your Relationship with Your Loved One?

It is noble to want to take on caregiving duties, but if your family relationship is already strained, then you will need to be prepared for a potentially stressful transition. Aging parents will also sometimes balk at receiving care from their children, even when they have a positive relationship. Many families find that professional live-in or hourly caregivers in Albuquerque can help ease relationship transitions during the first few weeks.

Do You Have the Time?

Many caregivers are surprised by how much time is taken up tending to their loved one’s needs. This is especially true when a loved one is recovering from a recent illness or injury. Take a realistic look at your current schedule and factor in everything from additional grocery shopping trips to transporting your loved one to medical appointments. Then, assess whether or not you can truly commit to additions to your schedule or if you will need assistance with your loved one’s care.

How Will You Manage Stress?

Stress is a major concern for all caregivers, and it is important to have a plan for stress management in place before you begin providing care. Think about a few activities that bring you relaxation. Meditation, alone time with your spouse, or taking a short vacation are all important things to do as a caregiver. Before you tackle your role, make a plan for respite care using either professional help or a trusted member of your support network so that you can avoid caregiver burnout and ensure that your loved one benefits from a happy, healthy caregiver.

If you’re unsure about managing your loved one’s care needs on your own, reach out to the experienced staff at Home Care Assistance. In addition to providing part-time and live-in home care, we also offer comprehensive stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care Albuquerque families count on. Call a dedicated Care Manager at 505-798-0800 to find out how we can help you and your loved one.