Helping to balance a checkbook or helping with grocery shopping are tasks most family caregivers can easily accomplish, but there are other, more difficult tasks that family caregivers may not be prepared for.
Learning the correct way to transfer a loved one from a bed to a wheelchair can help you avoid serious injury to yourself and the person you're caring for. Learning how to properly bathe someone with mobility problems can reduce the risk of hospitalization for chronic sores and infections.
Unfortunately, family caregivers often do not receive the training they need, but there are resources available that can help.
In addition to the resources below, you should also talk to a doctor, nurse, or social worker about any caregiving tasks that you are uncomfortable performing or find difficult to perform.
Resources & Support Systems
The American Red Cross has developed a training program for family caregivers. It covers the following topics:
and more. Go to The American Red Cross Website for more information!
How to Communicate Your Needs
If you are a family caregiver, you know that much of your energy is focused on meeting the needs of the person you are caring for, and that focusing on your own needs may seem selfish. Preserving your health, getting a break, and having time for yourself are not selfish desires.
They are part of what we all need to do, caregivers and non-caregivers alike. It's important that caregivers don't try to do everything themselves. Asking for help may be difficult or even seem embarrassing, but you may discover that friends and family are not only willing, but even eager to help. And remember, asking for help means less stress for you, which almost always means you'll be a better family caregiver.
Net of Care, a service of Beth Israel Hospital's Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care in New York City, provides the following tips:
To read the full list of tips, visit Net of Care online.
Other resources for communicating your needs include:
For more information on caregiving skills, please visit Family Caregiving 101.
This article appeared on Family Caregiving 101. Family Caregiving 101 was created by National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) and made possible by the generous support of Eisai Inc.
Used with permission.