January 20, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

happy-senior-mother-with-new-caregiver

It may have come completely without warning: an unexpected fall that led to a fractured hip as well as the requirement that Mom stay at home with extra support. Or, it may have been building up over time, such as through the slow and incremental progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Whatever the circumstances, you have now found yourself in the job of family caregiver, and maybe are wondering specifically what this means and just how to navigate these new waters.

To begin with, take a deep breath, and a moment to appreciate the selflessness of your decision. Caregiving is a respectable and extremely rewarding undertaking, but it is not without its struggles. A bit of proactive planning will go a long way towards a smoother transition to care, both for yourself and your family member. A good starting off point is to figure out the manner in which you would both like each day to look, creating a straightforward timeline to list out the daily tasks and activities that will need your attention. Try these tips for new caregivers:

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

Your list will look different for each day, of course. However, these tips for new caregivers provide a helpful outline to let you know when you may have a little downtime to yourself, and when you will need to provide some help.

This is also a good time to determine boundaries together – and also to agree to adhere to them. Again, these will be different for each person and on different days, but decide what is essential to each of you: having a specified time every day for respite care and personal time, when friends and family will come to visit, whether or not you need to maintain a job outside the home, etc.

Remember that At Home Independent Living is a leader in respite care in Syracuse, NY and the surrounding area, and our team is always available to assist while you get used to your caregiving role, ensuring you are able to look after yourself, too – something that is important to both you and a loved one in your care. Contact us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) for additional information.