An Introduction to Care Giving

November 3, 2021

If you’re a new care giver, chances are you feel as though your world has been turned upside-down. Taking on that responsibility can leave anyone feeling lost, helpless, and alone in the face of a remarkable challenge.

The good news is you’re never alone. Many people around the country graciously take on these responsibilities every day with the help and guidance of professionals lighting the way. Here at Culbertson Memorial Hospital, we’re proud to educate new caregivers on what to expect from this chapter of their lives and how to best care for loved ones and themselves alike.

Duties of a caregiver

A caregiver’s responsibilities can vary according to the ailment of the care receiver. According to caregiver.org, some common responsibilities may include the following:

First steps for new caregivers Once you accept the role of a caregiver, you may be wondering how to proceed with this new reality. First, you’ll need to accept your role as caregiver and identify yourself as such. Make sure you get a clear diagnosis of your loved one’s condition and learn what skills you will need to maintain a positive quality of life for them.

Communicate with your loved one and make sure you understand their wishes as far as finances and legal matters are concerned — this includes filling out paperwork like advance directives and powers of attorney. Discuss condition status and treatments with family and friends — and continue to do so through every step of treatment. Finally, identify personal and community resources that can make treatment and care easier for both you and the care receiver. This includes finding resources to support both yourself and the care receiver.

Caring for the caregiver

As is true with anything, self-care should never take a backseat. There may be times where you feel stressed or overwhelmed, which is natural. Caregiver burden — or caregiver stress — is a common condition relating to the emotional, physical, and mental stress of caregiving. As you start your journey as a caregiver, make sure you take care of yourself just as you take care of your loved one. This includes any of the following steps:

Remember — you’re never alone. Becoming a caregiver can dramatically change your life, but resources to help you adjust to your new role are always within reach.

If you or a caregiver you know are experiencing symptoms of caregiver burden, contact Culbertson Memorial Hospital today or call (217) 322-4321 to talk with someone about your needs.