Caregivers don’t just look after another person – they provide the physical and emotional support needed for that person to get through their day. If you’re contemplating becoming the primary caregiver for your loved one, here are some points to consider.
- Are you physically capable of caring for your loved one? Depending on the state of your patient, you may need to assist with sitting him up for meals, helping him out of bed, bathing him, and dressing him. It’s not uncommon for caregivers to strain muscles while on duty.
- Do you have time to care for your loved one? If you work a full time job or have a family to take care of, you may not have the hours in the day to care full time for another person. Keep in mind that caregiving may require frequent visits to the doctor and working around the clock to keep your loved one as comfortable as possible.
- Do you have support from family and/or friends? Caregiving can be draining and absolutely requires emotional support. Additionally, it’s helpful to have at least one person you can call on to help in case of emergency.
- Have you done your research? Before taking on the caregiver role, it’s important to understand your patient’s medical illness and needs. Having a conversation with your loved one’s physician is a great place to start.
- Are you financially capable of taking on the caregiver role? Medical bills can add up. Will you be able to cover the costs if your loved one can’t? Can you afford to stop working in order to care for him?
Although caregiving can be challenging, it can also be very rewarding. We hope these points empower you to make the right decision for you and your family.