The Role of a Caregiver

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Caregivers in Dulles VA

If you are new to caregiving, you may wonder just what role you will be playing in your aging parent’s changing life. If you have offered to be the primary family caregiver, you have undertaken the role of a lifetime and one you should be very proud of. The first thing to consider is the extent of care and the time you can offer to your parent. They may only need support with transportation or meal preparation currently, but in the days or years ahead that role may include assisting with the daily activities of living such as bathing and dressing. Developing a plan now will ensure success later.

The Team

You can’t do this alone—not in the long run. Develop a team now that can help support each other while they are caring for your parent. Check with family, friends and neighbors. Schedule a weekly or monthly conference call, depending on the complexity of your parent’s needs. In this way, everyone can stay abreast of any changes or concerns. Consider obtaining the services of an in-home care provider a few days a week. This will give them and your parent a chance to get to know each other and develop that all-important camaraderie that can help your parent through any difficult changes that aging may bring.

The Tasks

Make a list now of the tasks your parent will, ultimately, require help with. This list usually includes bathing, dressing, transferring, transportation, grocery shopping and running errands, meal preparation, housekeeping, and social interaction. Ask your team what they are willing and able to do and then assign tasks accordingly. Maybe a loved one lives in another state and is unable to participate the way they would like to. Schedule a Skype or Facetime video chat once a week between them and your parent. This type of social engagement is critical to your parent’s health and long-term happiness.

Community Support

In most communities you will find a wealth of support. Your senior community center is a great place to start. They usually have information regarding transportation services for seniors, meal delivery options and support groups. They also offer classes that are designed with seniors in mind which include exercise, crafts, language and writing courses, to name a few.

As the primary family caregiver, you will need to ensure that the schedule contains some time designed with you in mind. This may be your hour of exercise a day or your evening outing with friends. This is a long-term commitment that requires the caregiver to care for themselves as well as their parent.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Dulles, VA please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.