In a recent article published by caregiver.org, some good advice was summarized for those who are just starting out as family caregivers.
Not surprisingly, most find it hard to know where to begin. Perhaps you’ve only recently realized that a loved one needs assistance, and is no longer as self-sufficient as he or she once was. Or perhaps there has been a sudden change in a loved one’s health.
If you are new to caregiving, here are five steps for you to consider:
- Start with a diagnosis from your loved-ones physician, neurologist, or diagnostic clinic. As the article points out, “An early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, or another disease that causes cognitive impairment, has many benefits.”
- Talk with your loved one about his or her finances and health care wishes. A Durable Power of Attorney for finances and health care might also be a good idea, which can be done with help from an attorney.
- Consider involving family and close friends and, if possible, invite your loved one to participate in the conversations.
- Take advantage of community resources.
- Don’t forget what’s most important: finding support for yourself.