Our Five Favorite Tips for Family Caregivers

| By Jodi Horton

Family caregiving offers family members the opportunity to care for a loved one, a task that many are happy to have. However, caregiving for an ill loved one is not a simple or easy task, and it often goes on for many years. Simple tricks to maximize efficiency or relieve stress can make a difference in your day-to-day caregiving. Here are five of our favorite caregiving tips.elderly couple walking

  1. If multiple family members are providing round-the-clock care, you should be providing it in shifts to ensure that everyone is getting enough rest. Use caregiving websites or calendar apps to schedule appointments and caregiving shifts.
  2. Allow your loved one as much independence and control as possible, especially in decision making processes regarding medical treatments and quality of life. Provide your loved one with choices, even in small decisions like food and drink and what to wear.
  3. Organize your loved one’s health care documents. Designate a specific shelf or file drawer for health care paperwork, including a list of medications, contact numbers, advance directives, etc. Try to organize them in labeled folders or an accordion file. Keep a notebook for visits to the doctor, writing questions to ask in advance and notes during the appointment.
  4. Take care of yourself by getting enough rest, maintaining a balanced diet, incorporating small amounts of exercise, and allowing time for self. Take advantage of respite opportunities from other family members or friends or local adult day programs. Rest when your loved one rests, focus on easy to put together meals that emphasize lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh vegetables.
  5. Accept offers of help, and don’t be afraid to delegate tasks. They’re offering to help because they want to help. Let others pick up the groceries, do the laundry, prepare dinner today. A to-do list on the fridge makes it easy to pick out a task that can be completed by another individual.

If you or someone you know is caring for an individual with a terminal illness and a life expectancy of six months or less and reside in the Pima County area, call Casa de la Luz Hospice at 520.544.9890 to schedule a free evaluation for hospice care.

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