Who is a Caregiver and the role that they play?
We define the caregiver as the person who helps someone and is not paid to do so. You may be any family member, neighbour or, friend who provides assistance for a senior or someone with health issues. Besides, caregivers have many roles, from attending to a patient’s needs on a daily basis, including providing meals, bath, taking the patient to treatment centers, to just giving moral support.
Some of the common tasks caregivers do:
- Shop for groceries and fill prescriptions
- Cook and clean the house
- Help the patient with a bath, dressing, and doing the laundry
- Arrange medical appointments, provide transportation and be with them during appointments
- Understand and monitor medications, perform medical interventions such as injections, wound dressing and breathing treatments
- Transfer someone in and out of bed to a wheelchair or for toileting.
- Help with physical therapy
- Handling crises and arranging for assistance when you are not available
- Handle finances and help with other day-to-day matters
- Be a companion and a moral support
Being a caregiver is demanding and often exhausting. As a caregiver, you play a very important role on how the patient deals with their illness. Sometimes, a treatment plan can be demanding and your role as a caregiver can be crucial by ensuring the patient stick to the treatment plan, get enough nutrition and, rest.
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Take care for yourself
The care of a disabled older person can create a great amount of stress. The stress experienced may be physical, financial, emotional in nature. Loss of sleep, physical exhaustion, poor eating habits and lack of proper exercise can affect your health indirectly. It is always important to take care of yourself first; engage in activities that you find relaxing. Besides, as a caregiver, you’ll need to stay fit physically and mentally to care for others. Consequently, it affects the ability of the caregiver to continue giving necessary levels of care unless the caregiver take care of themselves.
Finally, take care of your finances, paying for medical expenses in an emergency, missing out work, passing up promotions, are all going to take a toll. It is also important to keep a record of all expenses and share it with others in your family.