Tips for New Family Caregivers That Really Help!

Tips for New Family Caregivers That Really Help!

It might have come totally out of nowhere: an unanticipated fall that resulted in a broken hip and the need for Dad to have help and support to stay at home. Or, it may have been building up over time, such as through the slow and incremental progression of Alzheimer's disease. Regardless of the circumstances, you have now found yourself in the role of family caregiver, and perhaps are wondering just what this means and just how to navigate these new waters. We, at Amy’s Helping Hands, offer the following practical tips for new family caregivers.

To begin with, take a deep breath, and a minute to acknowledge the selflessness of your decision. Caregiving is an extremely rewarding endeavor, however not without its struggles. A little proactive planning can go a long way towards a smoother transition to care, both for yourself and your family member. A great starting point is to figure out the way you would both like each day to unfold, creating a simple timeline to record the daily activities and tasks which will need your attention. For instance:

  • 7 a.m.: Help Dad get out of bed, showered, dressed, and ready for the day
  • 8 a.m.: Make breakfast and tidy up
  • 9 a.m.: Take Dad to physical therapy and/or exercise class
  • 11 a.m.: Run errands with (or for) Dad
  • 1 p.m.: Prepare lunch and clean up
  • 2 p.m.: Help Dad get settled for afternoon activities: a film, reading, puzzles, nap, participating in a favorite pastime or hobby, etc.
  • 6 p.m.: Make dinner and clean up
  • 8 p.m.: Help Dad with bedtime tasks – a bath, changing into pajamas, brushing teeth, etc.
  • 10 p.m.: Help Dad get into bed

Your list will look different for each day, of course, but this provides a helpful outline to let you know when you could have just a little downtime to yourself, and when you’ll need to provide hands-on help.

This may also be a good time to determine boundaries together – and also to pledge to stick to them. Again, these will vary for each person and on different days, but decide what is important to each of you: having a specific time every day for self-care and private time, when friends and family will come to visit, whether or not you intend to maintain a job outside the home, etc.

Recognize that Amy’s Helping Hands is always here to help as you adjust to your caregiving role with the respite care needed to make certain you are able to take care of yourself – something that is important to both you and the senior in your care. Give us a call at 519.915.4370 to get more information about our elder home care in Windsor Ontario.