5 Tips For New Caregivers
America is rushing headfirst into a Silver Boom. As our population ages, more and more caregiving jobs will open up. According to the American Psychological Association, nearly twenty-nine percent of all American adults currently serve as caregivers for seniors or disabled relatives.
Not everyone at home has the medical knowledge and skills required to be a caregiver, at least at first. If you’ve found yourself as a caregiver, whether at home or for pay, you need to follow these five caregiving tips to ensure your success.
1. Research What Skills Caregiving Jobs Require
Whether you work as a caregiver in the home or for your paycheck, you need to research what skills caregiving jobs may require. Doing this early on will give you an idea of what you can expect in the course of your duties. This will tell you straight away if caregiving is for you or not.
If you need to brush up on certain skills, don’t hesitate to look for caregiver training programs. They can help fill any skill gaps, improving your job prospects and your ability to handle your duties at home.
2. Don’t Neglect Self-Care
Those who work in family caregiving jobs often end up neglecting themselves in favor of caring for their loved ones. However, no one can pour from an empty cup. If you run yourself ragged, you’ll suffer from caregiving burnout in a heartbeat.
Take time to unwind from the stress of your caregiving duties, and don’t be afraid to say “no” if you’re overwhelmed.
3. Prepare for Medical Appointments
Medical appointments are a fact of life for caregivers. Most seniors that require care have a host of conditions that require a veritable pharmacy of medications. For those receiving memory care, keeping track of medications and appointments becomes even more critical.
Use a notes app to keep medication and allergy lists available, and schedule your charge’s appointments in your phone calendar as soon as you hear about them to avoid confusion.
4. Build a Caregiving Team
Caregiving jobs are less about one person handling everything, and more about teamwork. You need to be ready and willing to work with your charge’s family, their doctors, the charge, and their support system. Don’t feel that you must handle everything alone.
Try to make sure you’re all on the same page. Remember, you all have the same ultimate goal of the senior’s wellbeing in mind.
5. Set Expectations Early
Senior health is prone to rapid decline, especially when many pre-existing conditions compound on one another. You, as a caregiver, can’t manage all of their estate’s affairs for them. Set those expectations early on with the senior and their family, so that they can handle any legal needs on their end.
It’s easy for resentment to breed when you don’t manage expectations proactively. Make discussing a charge’s legal needs and desires a priority.
Need More Tips for Handling Caregiving or Other Jobs?
Figuring out how to deal with caregiving jobs when you’re new to the industry can be tough. However, you don’t have to go into your new job alone. If you need help adjusting to your work, no matter the industry, check out our blog daily for more tips and tricks!