Caregiver Tactics – Getting Prepared

Ways to get yourself ready for the road ahead as a new caregiver.

Alice, Caregiver for Sister, 1 Year, Pennsylvania: You have to think of planning of how this person’s going to eat, who’s going to sit, watch the person, making sure that they get their medication, things of that.  So I know now I just can’t pack up and go.

Judith, Caregiver for Mother, 4 Years, Texas:I would say it’s a journey, going up a mountain.  It’s a climb.  You climb to get the information and climb to get the services.

Family caregivers spend an average of 20 hours per week caring for their loved ones. 
Approximately 13% provide at least 40 hours of care per week.

Rudy, Caregiver for  Mother, 4 Years, Pennsylvania:You know how they talk about changing roles with your parents, they become kids and you’re the adult.  You see that over and over and over again… And now you’re trying to explain things to them the way they explained them to you.  Trying to rationalize things in the way they rationalized things for you.

Building nonverbal skills can maintain your relationship, improve your interactions, and foster a sense of well-being for yourself and your loved one.

Judith, Caregiver for Mother, 4 Years, Texas:I used to carry a card with me so if I’d go to a restaurant or I go someplace, I’d slip them a card saying, “Please understand that my mother has Alzheimer’s.

Important legal and financial considerations:

  • Create a financial profile by listing all income sources
  • Research documents you may need, such as wills or power of attorney
  • Make a list of important information, such as social security number and bank accounts

Claudia, Caregiver for Mother, 12 Years, Texas:
I took a 5×7 frame and I typed out, “Mother”, I told her, “this is the name of the place.  This is where you live now.  They’re going to take good care of you.  You’ll have lots of activities.  I will come to see you as often as possible.  Other people will come to see you.”  And then at the bottom I put my name with both phone numbers and her sister’s name with her phone number, and it’s right by her bed so when she wakes up she won’t be frightened.  She knows exactly where she is.

Being a caregiver takes practice.

Content sponsored by Forest Laboratories, Inc.