Becoming your elderly loved one’s family caregiver means that your role in her life is undergoing a shift. The same is true for her role and some families have a difficult time weathering this change.
Accept it’s Difficult for Everyone Involved
It’s not fun to watch your loved one’s life change and for her to suddenly have a decrease in what she’s able to do. But as much as it’s difficult for you, it’s just as difficult for your loved one. That can make you both shorter with each other than you really intend to be. When that happens, you’re not likely to find your new roles easy to manage.
Prepare Yourself with Information
The more information that you have when you start being your loved one’s family caregiver, the better. You’ll need to have a full understanding of her health and what kinds of help she needs in order to improve her quality of life. Once your loved one realizes that you really do just want to help her, it’s easier for her to help you make plans.
Assess Overall Safety for Your Loved One
The biggest concern for your loved one is her safety. Even when you’re learning about her current health, the main focus should be on how that affects her safety. You may be able to make some very concrete changes that give your loved one the safest environment possible. Work with your loved one to develop a safety plan that leaves you both feeling more comfortable.
Stay Calm and Get Help
In the end, you can’t do everything alone. Get help from family members, elder care providers, and your loved one’s medical team. The more open you are to help from a variety of sources, the easier it becomes to transition into your new role as your loved one’s family caregiver. As you gain confidence, your loved one is also going to feel more confident in what you can do for her.
You can work out a new balance with your elderly loved one, but it’s going to take time and patience for you to get there.