You don’t typically get to prepare for a caregiving role, at least not in the way you might for a certification exam or new job. And yet, many adults find themselves bearing the title – sometimes overnight – knowing little about what comes next.
Caring for an elder can be an unpredictable road, an eye-opening experience that often exposes involved family members to the long-term care maze. Whether you encounter physical health challenges with your loved one (for example, a fall, which can provoke changes in mobility), emotional/social concerns (i.e. loneliness, grief or depression after loss of a spouse), or you must make a decision regarding a transition to a senior care facility, the learning curve may be steep.
- Get connected. You can’t plead ignorance when it comes to caregiving, because resources are available, be it through education/information, services, or professionals/friends who can offer support if asked/pursue. New caregivers should take advantage and plug in to a network of care immediately.
- Search for senior care facilities/providers. Know what’s out there so if the need arises, you’re not scrambling in a crisis situation for home care, assisted living, or some other arrangement.