What New Caregivers Need to Know
Editor’s Note: The statistics are staggering: According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, an estimated 29 percent of the U.S. adult population is providing care for someone who is ill, disabled or aged. That translates into 65.7 million people. And as the boomer population grows older, that number isn’t likely to decrease. When you’re faced with the prospect of caregiving in your own life, it’s easy to become overwhelmed as a new caregiver. But there are steps you can take to be in control of the situation. Here, from agingcare, a community of caregivers, are five steps that can help you navigate your new responsibilities:
Start with a diagnosis. Learning about a family member's diagnosis helps caregivers understand the disease process and plan ahead realistically.
Talk about finances and healthcare wishes. Having these conversations can be difficult, but completing Durable Powers of Attorney for finances and healthcare can help relieve anxiety and better prepare for the future.
Consider inviting family and close friends to come together and discuss the care needed. If possible, it's helpful to include the care recipient in this meeting. This meeting gives caregivers a chance to say what they need, plan for care and ask others for assistance.