There are many excellent information resources for caregivers. One is the AARP website, which offers these eight helpful tips for people who are first-time caregivers.
- Start with a candid conversation. Talk with your parents about how you will be helping them to meet their needs. Encourage them to articulate their concerns. Establish limits so they don’t form unrealistic expectations.
- Set your priorities. Make a list of what needs to get done and how you plan to do it. An organized approach puts you in control, reduces stress and ensures that your parents get the assistance they need.
- Build a support network. In most families, one person assumes the role of primary caregiver. But that doesn’t let others off the hook.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate.
- Offer alternatives. With family members, don’t accept excuses for not helping without offering alternatives.
- Hold family meetings. Schedule them regularly, and bring in distant family by phone.
- Involve your children. When you have parents and children who need your time and attention, you may feel pulled from both sides. Carve out time for fun activities, and request your children’s help.
- Talk to your spouse. Have a discussion with your partner about your caregiving responsibilities. Suggest specific ways your spouse can help, and show appreciation for his or her efforts.
For further information visit the Caregiving Resource Center on the AARP website.