- Form a team. Trying to handle caregiving responsibilities by yourself can lead to burnout and stress-related health problems. (Click here to watch a short video about Caregiver Burnout.) Reach out to form a larger network of people and resources to help you and your loved one. Your hospice social worker can help you navigate and build your team.
- Make a plan. It’s impossible to anticipate every need, but it can be helpful to look at both short-term and long-term resources and possible solutions for your loved one’s needs and for you as a caregiver. Can someone pay your loved one’s bills? Can someone visit your loved one regularly to provide a break or respite for you? Think through what would help you and your loved one the most, and communicate these things to your team. In addition, your hospice social worker can help you understand how to maximize your team and how utilizing hospice volunteers can be a valuable layer of support for you, the caregiver.
- Care for your loved one and yourself. Seek to have a safe environment for your loved one and their ever-changing needs. Advocate to doctors and others involved in your loved one’s care so that you are well-informed as this will help you provide the best possible care for your loved one. Also, be sure to practice important self-care strategies such as eating healthy and exercising. A short walk or 15 minutes of reading a favorite book can be refreshing for a caregiver. Click here to learn more about self-care.
Adapted from AARP, https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/basics/info-2019/first-time-caregiver-tips.html. Visit this link for more information.