A family caregiver provides unpaid physical or emotional care for a minor, elderly, ill, or disabled loved one.
In the U.S., 43.5 million people have provided such care for an adult or child in the last 12 months. Family caregivers often make many sacrifices to ensure that their loved one’s health and well-being are provided for.
November is designated as National Family Caregivers Month, and the Houston guardianship attorney Keith Morris wants to pay tribute to these individuals.
The theme for National Family Caregivers Month November 2017 is: “Caregiving Around the Clock.”
No matter how much you love the person you’re caring for, this job can take an emotional and physical toll after a while. Here are some tips to help you in this journey:
- Don’t try to do everything alone. Ask for help, and more importantly accept help when it is offered! Sometimes friends and family will offer to help but not know what you need. Offer specific suggestions of ways they can help.
- Take care of yourself. Your own health well-being is important, too. Getting enough sleep, proper nutrition, exercise, and breaks from your caregiving duties should be top priorities. You can’t be a great caregiver if you are not taking care of yourself first.
- Stay organized. There can be a lot to remember when you are taking care of a sick loved one. Doctor’s appointments, medications, special care instructions can become confusing. Communicate with doctors, pharmacists, and medical staff, ask questions when you need to, and take notes to help you remember the information and stay organized.
- Get legal assistance. Being a caregiver often requires you to perform tasks and make decisions on behalf of your loved one. To do so, you’ll need to have the legal authority through guardianship, power of attorney, or medical directives. Consult a Houston guardianship attorney at Morris Ostrom Law to make sure this documentation is in order.
- Seek support from other caregivers. Find support groups or seek out friends and neighbors who are going through the same thing. Often just being able to talk to someone who understands your day-to-day experiences firsthand can be a tremendous help.
Being a caregiver is more than a full-time position, and it can be one of the toughest jobs you’ll ever have. These individuals provide valuable services to family members with love, respect, and devotion. This month and every month, they deserve our thanks and appreciation.