Here are four questions to help you figure out what you must do.
1) What are the typical needs of the person I am caring for?
2) How do I make my home safer and more comfortable for my care recipient?
3) What are some problems that could happen?
4) What is an easy way to sum up what a caregiver does?
What Are The Typical Needs Of My Care Recipient?
1. Physical needs: Helping with daily activities, also known as Activities of Daily Living.
2. Health and medical needs: Making sure he/ she is taking medicine, going for medical appointments on time and talking to healthcare professionals
3. Emotional needs: Showing your love and support, even during the lowest moments
4. Spiritual needs: Helping him/ her to continue his/ her religious practices and belief
4. Financial and legal needs: Managing his/ her insurance and assets when he/ she is unable to do so, and planning for his/ her future
How Do I Make My Home Safer And More Comfortable For My Care Recipient?
You may need to make some changes to your home depending on how well your care recipient can move around.
You may need to add a bed rail to make it easier to get up from bed, or provide a wheelchair ramp at the entrance of the house.
Consult your family when you are planning to modify the home for your loved one.
You can also get home modification service providers to assess your home and make recommendations. They can be found using the E-care Locator.
Subsidies are also available under the Housing and Development Board's Enhancements for Active Seniors (EASE) programme, if you are eligible.
What Are Some Problems That Could Happen?
The two most common problems that you may face are:
- Disagreements with your care recipient, or among your family members
- Caregiver burnout (extreme tiredness from caregiving)
You can do something to prevent problems from becoming serious.
- Be gentle and respectful with your care recipient and involve him / her in all decisions as much as possible. Make him/ her feel involved.
- Speak honestly and often to your family members, and let them share their thoughts.
- Take care of yourself. Being healthy will help you to be a better caregiver.
- Take time off from caregiving to do something you enjoy.
Find out more how you can prevent burnout by reading Caregiver Wellbeing.
To sum up what you need to do as a caregiver, remember the acronym CARE:
Compassion: Express your kindness, love and support to your care recipient
Awareness: Find out as much as you can about how you can help
Respect: Respect your care recipient, as well as yourself, your time, and your resources
Emotional support: Provide emotional support while keeping track of your own feelings