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How to Be the Best Family Caregiver You Can Be - 5 Tips

Caregiver and elderly male sitting side by side

If you are caring for your loved one, you may wonder if there is something you could be doing better. Rule number one when it comes to providing care is that you probably are doing more than you should be! If you’re one of those people, though, that need some kind of checklist, then this article is for you. We’re here to guide you with some tips on how to be the best family caregiver you can be.

1. Confidence Booster

As we care for our loved ones, one of our biggest jobs can be helping them feel emotionally supported. This includes helping them build and strengthen their confidence, optimism, and mood when they’re going through treatments or rehabilitation. This can be difficult but it is definitely possible.

Start with smaller steps, such as just a few sips of water, or just a few minutes of exercise when your loved one struggles. Small steps can lead towards bigger goals, and when your loved one finally achieves their goal then helping them celebrate and reminding them of their wins can keep them going. Reminding your loved one of their successes can also keep them motivated and moving forward towards the next step.

2. Remember Compassion

If your loved one is going through a particularly difficult situation, such as surgery, recovery, or some kind of treatment, it can sometimes be best to simply be there. Being present and in the moment without trying to fix or fuss over anything might just be what they need. Having compassion and simply being with your loved one during their difficult time can help take their mind off whatever they are going through. As a caregiver, there may be times when all you can do is take your loved one out for ice cream.

3. Do the Thing

Remember, your loved one is used to being independent. They have a certain level of dignity, which means they may not be ready to ask for help. If you notice that something needs doing, then do the thing. For example, if you’ve stopped by for a visit and noticed that the yard needs to be mowed, then consider either mowing it yourself or hiring someone to do it instead of asking, “do you need help with your yard?” Chances are if you ask, they’ll say they don’t need help when they really do. Social support can be important in helping your loved one feel like they can continue to be independent for a just a little while longer.

4. Check in Often

Whether your loved one is aging in place at home, has moved in with you, or is in some kind of care facility, checking in often shows them you care. It will help you feel better, and it will also help them feel better. Another benefit of checking in often is being able to recognize when changes are happening regarding your loved one’s health.

5. Take Care of Yourself

When you start to provide care for a loved one, it is important to remember to take care of yourself first. Set boundaries and remember that your health is important. If you need a break or are interested in resources to help you find social communities to participate in then we can help you here at Homewatch CareGivers of Annapolis! We’re always here to support you and your loved one. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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