A Checklist for New Caregivers: Tips to make your job easier-Caring for an older adult, ill or Disabled adult.

A Checklist for New Caregivers: Tips to make your job easier-Caring for an older adult, ill or Disabled adult.

Caring for an older, ill or disabled person can be challenging-especially if you are new to the task. There are steps you can take to make the job easier.

Learn about the disease, condition or illness:

*Talk to a health care provider. Ask:

Is this a long or short term situation?

What are the person’s specific care needs?

How will those needs change over time?

*Ask about special skills. For example, ask how to move someone with limited mobility or how to give medications.

*Get more information from books, pamphlets or the Internet.

Explore your options:

*Write down specific needs, such as meals, bathing, household chores, physical therapy and doctor’s appointments.

*Discuss ways to meet those needs with the person being cared for, relatives, friends and the person’s health care provider.

*Find out if you can take time off from work under the Family Medical Leave Act.

Research community Resources:

*Talk with hospital staff about services in your area. Contact your county health department about public resources.

*Call your local Area Agency on Aging and contact organizations specific to the disease, such as the Alzheimer’s Association.

*Explore options such as adult day care, meal delivery, transportation services, respite services and in-home support services.

*Consider hiring a care manager. This is a social worker or nurse who specializes in arranging care.

*Keep the information you collect in a notebook or on the computer. Even if you don’t use it now, you may later on.

Plan for immediate care:

*Ask the person being cared for about his or her wishes around immediate care.

*Adapt the living environment for special needs, such as a walker, wheelchair or bedside commode.

*Consider how you will track the person’s health and care needs. Keep a log or journal of eating patterns, medications and physical symptoms.

*If other family members are providing support, write down who will be in charge of what task.

Enlist the help of others:

*Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Don’t try to do it all.

*Make a list of people who can help.

*List the tasks that others can so, such as running errands or bringing dinner.

*Ask a friend, family member or neighbor to call people or arrange for help.

Organize important information:

*Write down:

-Doctor’s names, phone numbers and addresses

-Medical name of the illness

-Medical insurance information

-Prescription numbers, names and doses

*Organize financial information such as household bills, loans and debts, bank accounts and insurance policies.

*Photocopy important information such as the social security, driver’s license and insurance cars of the person being cared for.

Plan for the future:

*Get information about the long-term prognosis. Knowing what will happen in the future will help you plan for care.

*Access finances. Talk to a financial advisor familiar with care issues.

*Talk to a lawyer or legal aid representative about a Durable Power of Attorney for healthcare and finances.

Get Support:

*Talk to a friend, family member or counselor about your feelings.

*Join a support group.

*Do you feel overwhelmed? If so, talk to your doctor, therapist or another health professional right away.

Take care of yourself too:

*Talk to your friends and family members. Enlist their support.

*Find out if your employer has an Employee Assistance Program that provides support for caregivers.

*Let go of less important commitments. No one can do it all!

*Keep doing at least one activity or hobby that brings you pleasure.

*Take regular breaks from caregiving.

*Make sure you are meeting your own care needs: eating healthy, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and spending time with family and friends.

New caregivers face many challenges-from understanding the illness to providing immediate care or planning for the future. This checklist provides an overview of common caregiving issues. For more information, visit http://www.aarp.org or to find support groups and services in your area, consult your local phone book. You can also call the Eldercare Locater at 1-800-677-1116 or visit http://www.eldercare.gov on the Internet.

Written by Mardi Richmond for Journeyworks Publishing.

*Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Journeyworks Pamphlet on ‘A Check list for New Caregivers’ and offers helpful advice for new caregivers. I have tried to include many of their pamphlets as I had found them helpful in my caregiving role and want to share them will all of my readers.

 

 

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About jwatrel

I am a free-lance writer and Blogger. I am the author of the book "Firehouse 101" (IUniverse.com 2005) part of trilogy of books centered in New York City. My next book "Love Triangles" is finished being edited and should be ready for release in the Fall. My latest book, "Dinner at Midnight", a thriller is on its last chapter. My long awaited book explains the loss of the 2004 Yankee game to Boston. I work as a Consultant, Adjunct College Professor, Volunteer Fireman and Ambulance member and Blogger. I have a blog site for caregivers called 'bergencountycaregiver', a step by step survival guide to all you wonderful folks taking care of your loved ones, a walking project to walk every block, both sides, of the island of Manhattan "MywalkinManhattan" and discuss what I see and find on the streets of New York and three sites to accompany it. One is an arts site called "Visiting a Museum", where I showcase small museums, historical sites and parks that are off the beaten track both in Manhattan and outside the city to cross reference with "MywalkinManhattan" blog site. Another is "DiningonaShoeStringNYC", featuring small restaurants I have found on my travels in this project, that offer wonderful meals for $10.00 and under. So be on the lookout for updates on all three sites and enjoy 'MywalkinManhattan'. The third is my latest site, "LittleShoponMainStreet", which showcases all the unique and independent shops that I have found on my travels throughout and around Manhattan. I have started two new blog sites for the fire department, one "EngineOneHasbrouck HeightsFireDepartmentnj" for the Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department to discuss what our Engine Company is doing and the other is "BergenCountyFireman'sHomeAssociation" for the Bergen County Fireman's Association, which fire fighters from Bergen County, NJ, go to the Fireman's Home in Boonton, NJ to bring entertainment and cheer to our fellow brother fire fighters quarterly.
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1 Response to A Checklist for New Caregivers: Tips to make your job easier-Caring for an older adult, ill or Disabled adult.

  1. jwatrel says:

    Please remember that you are not alone in your journey as a caregiver. Please look to support groups and your friends for moral support. And please read on in this blog site. I hope it helps all of you.

    Like

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