Being a family caregiver for an ailing spouse, child, or parent is not an easy task. The role opens you up to a host of new responsibilities that are often intimidating and unfamiliar. That’s why it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and isolated. But who said your caregiving experience has to be a bad one?
Family Caregiving Tips
New family caregivers often find themselves at a loss. Caring for an aging parent or ailing spouse or child can take a toll on anyone both physically and mentally. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make the whole caregiving process less painful. Here are a few tips you can follow.
- The more you know about the care recipient’s disability or illness and how to care for it, the less anxious you’ll be about your new role. So, learn as much as you can.
- There is a sense of comfort knowing you are not alone, so it might benefit you to seek out other caregivers who can give you the support you need because they understand what you are going through.
- It might also be a good idea to join educational programs for caregivers where you can learn different caregiving techniques and how to cope with stress.
Importance of Having a Care Plan
A care plan combines all the goals of the care recipient, as well as their family and other care partners. It helps ensure that the physical and mental health of the care recipient is maximized, especially for individuals with Alzheimer’s.
A care plan also helps reduce caregiver stress, as it provides a clear direction and means of communication. So, a well-written care plan will not only benefit those with special health care needs, but also the ones caring for them.
Essential Components of a Patient Care Plan
The three components of a patient care plan are:
- Medical summary report
- Medical action plan
- Daily care plan
Each component is individually developed but, when finished, should come together as a single document. All components must be updated periodically to ensure that they stay relevant.
Update intervals may vary from patient to patient, but there should be a defined review cycle. You may assign the responsibility of making sure that the review cycle is completed to someone else if possible. When you invest time in the creation of a care plan, the quality of life of both you and the care recipient will improve significantly.
At FSL, we provide family caregivers with as much help and support that they need throughout their caregiving journey. Visit Empowering Family Caregivers for more information or contact us by calling 602-285-1800.