We borrow our title for Carolyn Knight’s guest post from Shakespeare. Knight addresses whether or not we have what it takes to be a family caregiver. TCV Ed.
If a member of your family is unable to live independently due to advancing dementia or Alzheimer’s, you might consider whether or not you want to become that person’s caregiver.
Taking on the role of family caregiver requires a lot of time, patience, and effort. Before you plunge into caregiving for your beloved parent, grandparent, or other family member, take time to consider your abilities, availability, and commitment.
Being a primary caregiver is a challenging and time-consuming job.
You’ll need to learn about your family member’s medications, health condition, and daily care regimen. You will also have to be prepared to devote time to meeting your family member’s needs. If you’ve made a commitment to your job or have children, you may not have the time nor energy to adequately perform the caregiver duties required of you.
Be realistic with yourself, and speak to your family member’s doctor about the specific things you’ll need to do as a caregiver.
If you have any doubts about your ability to commit to these responsibilities, you should consider other options for your family member such as in-home care, adult day care, residential care, etc.
If you decide to become your family member’s primary caregiver, consider taking a class that will help you learn more about the duties of the job.
The Alzheimer’s Association, National Family Caregiver’s Association, and even the American Red Cross offers free family caregiver classes that will help familiarize you with many of the issues you’ll face and things you’ll have to do.
Be sure to do your research before you commit to such an important responsibility as caregiving!
Carolyn Knight is a guest blogger on the topics of caregiving, medical education, and for RN schools.
Post edited by the Editor of TheCaregiversVoice.com