Four Tips for New Caregivers
New caregivers experience a lot of stress during that initial transition from hospital to home. But planning ahead can make the transition smoother and set a foundation for a healthier caregiving experience.
“We know how challenging and overwhelming it can be to take care of someone living with a chronic illness, whether it’s a family member, partner or friend,” said Sharon Roth Maguire, MS, RN, GNP-BC, vice president of quality and clinical operations at BrightStar Care. “By creating a strong support system, staying organized, and communicating effectively, some of the everyday stress can be reduced.”
Maguire offers the following tips:
- Learn – Arm yourself with knowledge to reduce stress. Look online for research about the condition and ask questions at physician appointments. Become aware of symptoms to better monitor changes.
- Organize – Stay on top of medications, appointments and scheduling by using an online tool such as CareTogether.com. The program puts everyone in the care process on the same page by providing a shared resource.
- Speak up – Communicating your feelings and frustrations is important to manage stress levels.
- Get help – Look into options for home care. Agencies can provide medical and nonmedical help in the home to give you a much-needed break.