Being a caregiver is hard work; you may know this all-too-well already. However, working as a caretaker to an in-home parent can present its own set of unique challenges. Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of such a situation is trying to balance your professional responsibilities with your family ties. It’s never an easy job, but there are some tips that can guide you towards success. Here is our guidance on being a live in caregiver, or caretaking for a parent that lives in the home.
Prioritize Your Own Health
First and foremost, acknowledge that you cannot take care somebody else if you’re not taking care of yourself. While you may feel guilty taking time for yourself when you feel a pressing need to be at your parent’s side, the fact remains that you need to put your own wellbeing first. After all, you won’t be able to perform your job to the best of your abilities if you’re physically ill or emotionally stressed. Take time for daily self-care, such as:
- completing breathing exercises
- taking small breaks
- making time for activities you enjoy
Take Advantage of New Technology
These days, there are all kinds of innovative technologies out there that are designed to make your job easier while providing your loved one with the care he or she needs. No matter how “old-fashioned” or traditional your caregiving philosophy may be, keep yourself open-minded to new technologies.
This technology could be something as simple as an app that reminds you when it’s time to administer medication, or as complex as a GPS tracking device that can help you locate your loved one in the event that he or she wanders out of the house. An NFCA article explains how these technologies can make your job easier.
Keep Medical and Legal Documents in Order
Finally, in addition to your regular caregiving services, you may also want to make sure that your loved one’s legal and medical documents are in order, and that you know where they are located within the home. This way, in the event of a medical emergency, you’ll have access to everything the hospital staff may need. And, in the event that you need to carry out wishes on behalf of a loved, you’ll be able to do so accordingly.
Generally, it’s best to have a locked filing cabinet where you can keep all of this documentation. To be extra safe, consider having your loved ones invest in a fire-proof and water-proof safe for storage of these documents.
Being a live in caregiver to an in-home parent is a difficult yet rewarding job–and one that your parent surely appreciates. Just be sure to keep these tips in mind in your everyday work so you can provide the best possible level of care.