Transitioning to Life as a Caregiver

Transitioning to Life as a Caregiver

Most of us will spend some period of our lives as a primary caregiver. Usually, this is as a parent taking care of babies and small children until they are eventually able to handle their basic needs themselves – whether this comes at 15 or 25 depends on the child! The caregiver role can descend once more, however, when a spouse, parent, sibling, or other loved one experiences a serious illness. Though many elements of caring for an ailing family member may feel like deja vu to those who have experienced parenting, caring for an adult is very different and brings with it unique challenges. There are several things you can do to smooth the transition into caregiver for both you and your new patient.

Careers in the Medical Field and Home Health
Nurse explaining prescription medication to senior patient, home medical health concept.

Often, it becomes gradually clearer over a period of time that a person will need more care. In many instances, a spouse and/or children remark that mom or dad is having trouble and needs some more help. Whenever possible, it’s best that the whole family talks about what needs to be done and who should be responsible for what. Is a home health care professional necessary? If so, who should pay? Though these conversations can seem painfully awkward to have, it is far better to calmly discuss the details together, rather than put off obtaining care for a loved one who really needs it. When one family member simply assumes responsibility, resentment against the other family members can grow. It’s best if the person requiring care can be included in the conversations so he can discuss what he is most comfortable with.

If you find yourself as the caregiver for someone with increasing medical needs, it’s a good idea to be aware of the types of medical equipment available and what you will need. Call your insurance company to see what they cover. In many cases, there is specialized equipment that can make your lives much easier. If your loved one struggles to get up out of a sitting or lying position, for example, a special chair or bed could be obtained to make these tasks easier. If daily injections or diagnostics are required, you’re usually better off purchasing the required items in bulk, as with needles for diabetic testing. Las Vegas Medical Store offers a wide variety of medical equipment serving a number of specialized needs.

Though the initial transition to taking care of daily needs can be difficult, it’s also amazing how quickly people settle into a new routine. The spouse or parent you have loved for decades may now need your help testing her blood everyday, but there’s no need to act like that’s the end of the world. In fact, treating even serious conditions in a matter-of-fact way can often help the patient accept their condition more easily. There’s no greater act of love than spending your time taking care of a loved one who is going through an illness.

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