Parenting, caregiving, teaching and any other profession or responsibility where a person’s well being is largely put in your hands is bound to be stressful varying amounts and times. This article outlines some tips to make this job easier for you and introduce you to some resources you may not have already known about. Implement some of these for ease and happiness in both your lives.
Assess The Situation
Much like where you would first begin when creating a financial budget, you will assess the needs of the vulnerable adult needing care in your life. The things that will effect your list are any physical limitations or handicaps, how well the person feels and any goals the person has or outcomes that matter to them. This can be an informal conversation and writing down of the needs or a formal assessment made available by a local professional. This professional can be a GP, mental health nurse, or community nurse and this assessment could be made free under the Care Act. If you are unsure if you are able to provide the care needed for this vulnerable adult, you too qualify as a caregiver, to get your own assessment.
If you find that you are unable to fill some gaps in the list of needs or completed assessment, now is the time to fill those needs by delegating to the appropriate people or services to fill the need. Don’t forget to assess your own emotional needs, schedule, and ability to give care to this vulnerable adult or loved one. You may be able to contribute 85% of the care needed on the list, but at what cost? If your own health and sanity is forfeited by taking on an overwhelming task load, neither of you will benefit. Allowing enough space between you will enhance the quality of time and care you give when you’re able, so delegate where you can.
Keeping the care organized, even among other care givers you’ve appointed tasks and services to, is essential to your sanity and a means of keeping other parts of your life separate. Jointly is a free app you can download to organize the communication (via text messaging) between you and other caregivers of your vulnerable adult or loved one, medications, tasks lists, notes, associated contacts, and more.
It’s important to care for yourself and part of that is clearing any emotions that weigh on you regarding the responsibility of caring for a vulnerable adult. Dealing with this in the right way for you will vary from person to person. You might clear your emotions by releasing the tension through your body by scheduling a regular massage or by joining a support group for caregivers. Searching for group therapy or individual counseling specific to carers or caregivers will probably be fruitful. Even if it’s not your style to share with a group, you might benefit from going once or once in awhile. It could also benefit your vulnerable adult/caregiving relationship to encourage or schedule other socializing events for your client or loved one.