Are you providing in-home care for a friend or family member? Do you struggle with your caregiving duties, or are you feeling burned out? Caring for someone at home isn’t easy; it’s one of the most stressful and exhausting jobs you could have.
If you’re looking for ways to make your job easier, here are some of the best recommendations.
1. Become a paid caregiver
Life is easier when you have monetary funds, so why not become a paid caregiver? If you’re currently volunteering your time to help a loved one, getting paid will cover you if you’re taking time off work.
Most states have programs that make it easy to get paid to care for a loved one. For example, in Missouri, FreedomCare allows Medicaid patients to choose their caregivers and those caregivers will get paid. When you don’t have to stress about losing money by taking time off work, you won’t get burned out from stress so easily.
Getting paid to care for your loved one won’t diminish the sentiment of your selfless desire to help. When you become a paid caregiver, you won’t have to stress about paying your bills. If you don’t have to worry about bills, you can spend that money on your loved one if you prefer.
2. Get your loved one on services
Getting your loved one on as many services as possible is always a good idea. When they have access to services, you’ll have less work to perform. For example, your local city might have a free or low-cost transportation program for people with disabilities. Many cities have this type of service, but only offer it to people who sign up ahead of time. If you can get your loved one signed up for transportation, you’ll get some relief from taking them to and from simple appointments like haircuts and getting their nails done.
There are other services like low-cost housing, companies who will install grab bars in the bathroom, and supplementary services that offer additional discounts on prescriptions.
If you don’t know what services are available in your area, connect with someone in an online group or find the appropriate state agency and ask for a list of programs to contact.
3. Plan for future possibilities
It’s very possible that at some point, your loved one will need round-the-clock care in a medical facility and in-home care won’t be an option. If you have the funds to pay for constant care at home, you don’t have to worry about this, but if you’re like most people, you’ll need to plan for the possibility of moving your loved one into a care facility.
It’s better to do this planning ahead of time because if you don’t, you’ll become overwhelmed with your caregiving duties. It takes time to get approved for programs like Medicare and Medicaid, so get your loved one signed up for all the programs they qualify for early. This way, when your loved one needs more care than you can provide, the process of getting them into a facility will be much easier.
4. Address issues with other caregivers
Chances are, you’re not the only caregiver taking care of your loved one. Although it’s great to have help, sometimes other caregivers can be difficult. For instance, they might show up late, get frustrated with your loved one, or spend too much time on the phone. If you’re stressed out over another caregiver, don’t leave these issues unresolved. Communicate with them in a professional manner to address these issues and find solutions.
Sometimes caregivers have their own issues that make certain tasks difficult. For example, if you ask them to change a light bulb, they may not want to get on a ladder. However, if they’re constantly late or don’t seem attentive enough, it’s important to address the situation and if they don’t want to step up their game, you may need to hire someone else.
5. Delegate tasks to other people
One reason caregivers get burned out is because they try to handle too many tasks on their own. You can’t do everything. It’s important to delegate tasks to others as much as possible. In a family, you’ll always have that one person who will try to get by with the bare minimum and won’t do anything if they haven’t been asked. Delegate tasks and work out a shift schedule to lighten your load.
Avoid caregiver burnout
Now you know some of the best ways to make caregiving easier and avoid caregiver burnout. Helping a loved one in their home (or in yours) is a challenging task no matter how much help you have, so do whatever you can to make your job as easy as possible.