We have to face the fact that the caregiving world is much more complex than it was just 10 years ago and that caregiving will be a challenge! Many excellent books have been written to help the caregiver with the initial preparations in the home and you can find them listed in our bibliography.
We want to mention a few things that you should do right at the very beginning of your caregiving experience. These things are so important that they can’t wait another minute:
Educate yourself about your loved one’s disease.
Identify unrealistic expectations, especially your own.
Seek and accept support.
Identify what you still have rather than what is lost.
Let go of what cannot be changed. (Schmall 5)
What do you know about the specifics of your loved one’s condition? Have you done some research, gone to the library or talked to your doctor? How do you expect things to be in a week, a month, a year? Is this realistic in terms of what you have found in your research? What will you do if things don’t turn out the way you expect them to? Who can help you?
Now, in case you thought that wasn’t enough, here’s another list of some initial things to do, from Today’s Caregiver Magazine:
Keep track of medications, throw away old medicines from the medicine cabinet, set up a calendar of appointments, keep copies of medical records, attend to filling out advance directive and will, organize your financial records and have a home, life and long-term insurance analysis done. (Barg 31)Caregiver Revolution :For families, loved ones and professionals who want to change caregiving into a positive, life affirming experience.