7 Tips to succeed at caregiving
Here are 7 tips to make you a successful caregiver. Though we have no doubt you're nailing it already.
1.) Form a team - When friends and family offer to help, take them up on it. Assign duties to each person. Someone can give rides to doctor visits. Another person can pick up prescriptions. Another person takes charge of daily meals. You get the idea.
2.) Lists are your friend - You can't be expected to remember everything. Use your phone, or good old-fashioned pen and paper, and write things down. Groceries. Important calls to make. Duties you need to tackle each day. Get it all down.
3.) Plan ahead - You can't always predict what's going to happen. (Thanks for that lesson, cancer.) But you can be proactive. Make sure medication, rides and other tasks are set up in advance for your loved one. And always have a backup plan.
4.) Help manage finances - Cancer is costly. We all know that. Your loved one may be worried about how to pay the additional medical bills, while possibly working less. Sit down and help do the math to put your loved one's mind at ease.
5.) Stay positive - Get the emotional support you need. Exercise. Eat healthy. Your loved one needs this. There've been numerous studies on how positivity can help make the cancer journey more manageable.
6.) Know your limits - You're amazing. But you're also human. Know when you need to say no. If you find your own health suffering, it's time to take a break. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Remember that team we advised you to form? Taking care of YOU will ultimately help you take care of your loved one.
7.) Communicate - This might be your most important job of all. Make time to talk one-on-one with your loved one. Listen to concerns, fears, and most importantly what he or she needs. And share your feelings too. Remember, you're going through this together.
Added tip: DLU founder Angela followed a strict exercise routine to help have the energy and mental clarity to be a good caregiver. Give yourself 30 minutes a day to get active, release tension, fight off depression and gain some strength.