We’ve talked a lot about the need to pause, to meditate, to take care of yourself as a caregiver, but we haven’t talked lately about the early parts of caregiving, the parts where you’re getting tons of information, and trying to make the best decisions you can, while also facing some very real truths about aging, lifestyle, and future planning.
In this post from May 2018, Cyndi discusses those issues.
You find yourself helping your loved one with a few extra errands.
You notice changes in their health.
As you start doing a bit more, you realize that you need to discuss your concerns over the changes that you see.
More dramatic changes appear in their health, and you’re spending more time tending to their needs.
Then it happens; your loved one is admitted to the hospital and decisions need to be made about whether to go on to a care home or perhaps hire in-home care.
Are you ready? Have you explored options? Do you know the difference between in-home care vs a care facility? Is there an advanced directive in place? POLST if necessary? Do you understand Palliative Care? Hospice?
I think you get where I’m going here… prior proper planning. Family caregiving can be stressful and not being prepared, finding yourself in the throws of a major health shift can blindside you.
I remember when my dad had vascular surgery that didn’t go as planned while simultaneously being diagnosed with diabetes. He lost part of his leg, and it went downhill quickly. I remember sitting at Mom and Dad’s dining table with people from Hospice. Hospice? What were they there for? You want me to administer… Morphine? What is all of this???? I was in a state of shock.
“Preparing To Become a Caregiver“, brings up some great points on caring for an aging parent and a lot of tips could be used for any loved one that you are caring for.
Additionally, another article speaks to Advance Directive vs. POLST . Both highly recommended reading in preparing yourself and your loved one. Don’t get caught without having some knowledge of your options, and always talk with your doctor or lawyer to be sure of their thoughts as well.
Connecting with other caregivers in your community to reduce isolation and learn from one another is a terrific way to gain support and BREATHE. If you live in the Bay Area, I hope you’ll be able to join us on our monthly Caregiver’s Walks. These walks allow you to better care for yourself so that you can care for your loved one. Try it; I know you’ll like it! For more information and to sign up please visit the Breathing Spaces website.