10 Tips for New Adult Caregivers

Cedar Woods Team

Aug 28, 2018

Caregivers, also known as home health or personal care aides, give assistance to those who are sick, injured, mentally or physically disabled, or the elderly. Informal caregivers are often family members or friends, and there are also professional caregivers who are employed by an agency and earn certification through training programs.

With the aging of baby boomers, caregiving has grown and will continue to grow rapidly – with caregiver roles increasing almost 70% by 2020.

Although rewarding, caregiving can be challenging and complex in its beginning stages. With the right information, some organization and a reliable support system, new caregivers can seamlessly acclimate to this new role; while providing outstanding care to clients and/or loved ones.

1. Establish a care support team. As a caregiver you are expected to do a broad range of tasks, but there may be times you need additional reinforcement. Fill in the gaps with other people, services and advocacy groups who can provide you with support.

2. Learn about the illness or disability. Learning as much as you can about the individual’s condition, will help you discover the skills you might need to care for someone with this diagnosis – which ultimately will allow you to feel more prepared to provide care.

3. Connect with other caregivers. It can be beneficial to connect with other caregivers. Joining community or online support or discussion groups can help answer questions and boost your morale.

4. Encourage independence. Caregiving does not mean doing everything. Be open to discovering ways that allow the individual to be as independent as possible while remaining safe.

5. Acknowledge your limitations. Acknowledging your own limitations will allow you to be realistic about the level and type of care you can provide.

6. Write it down. There will be a lot of rules, guidelines, and facts you need to know. Write down important details, reminder, tasks, etc. to keep as a guideline and make sure you are adhering to caregiving standards.

7. Keep up with trainings. It is important to continue your training to provide the best possible care. Trainings will teach you about different health care procedures and protocols, maintain or refresh skills and be better equipped to provide care.

8. Travel safely to and from jobs. Always keep your car’s tank at least half full, and regularly check essential car fluids. Before you start as a caregiver, drive around to have a basic understanding of the area you will be in. Always lock your car and keep valuables locked up and out of view. Be alert and pay attention to your surroundings.

9. Be punctual and always show up. Those who rely on you for care and will expect you to arrive on time. If you are running late or cannot make it to work, notify your agency and/or the individual as soon as possible, so alternative arrangements can be made if needed.

10. Make a difference. You may be the only person they have contact with and who cares for them. Always be empathic and leave the person you’re caring for happier than you found them.

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