Caregiving Around the Clock
Caregiving for most is a 24-hour a day/seven-day a week job. Caring for a loved one with a severe medical needs can be a continuous responsibility and can often times crowd out other important areas of life. As a caregiver you never know when you will need to rush to the hospital or leave work at the drop of a hat.
Below are some of the challenges family caregivers face, and how they manage them day and night.
Morning: Getting off to work. The average family caregiver is a working mother of school-aged children. Mornings become a tricky balancing act of getting the kids ready for school and making sure your loved one has what they need for the day, all before getting yourself ready and out the door.
All Day Long: Managing medications. Up to 70 percent of the time, the family caregiver – not the patient – manages the medications. The more serious the condition, the more likely it is that the family caregiver is tasked with this responsibility. This means ensuring your loved one is taking their medication correctly and maintaining an up-to-date medication list.
During the Workday: Juggling caregiving and work. Six out of 10 family caregivers work full- or part-time in addition to juggling their caregiving responsibilities at home. Most say they have to cut back on working hours, take a leave of absence, or quit their job entirely to care for their loved one.
Evening: Family time and meal time. Ensuring that your family member receives proper nutrition to help maintain strength, energy, stamina, and a positive attitude can be a daunting task. Nutrition is also important for the caregiver as it for the patient.
Late at Night: Taking time for yourself. Late at night might be the only time you get a few minutes for yourself. Make sure you take time to rest and recharge. The chance to take a breather and re-energize is vital in order for you to be as good a caregiver tomorrow, as you were today.
The Middle of the Night: Emergency room visits. Have you ever had to take your loved one to the emergency room in the middle of the night? Be prepared ahead of time with what you need to know and what you need to have with you to help alleviate unnecessary stress.
Support groups provide participants with the opportunity to talk with others who are experiencing the same joys and challenges that caregivers face, to cope with the demands of caregiving, to give and receive encouragement, and to be empowered and strengthened as a caregiver.
For more information on caregiving support groups click here.