Just because you’re the primary caregiver for your elderly family member, that doesn’t mean that you have to do everything yourself. In fact, if you’re trying to do everything yourself, you’re going to eventually find that impossible.
What Are Your Strong Points?
Assessing your own strengths helps you to determine what you need to be doing for your elderly family member and what you can delegate to someone who might be better at that specific task. For example, you might be great at researching information but not so great at managing household tasks. You can hire a home care aide to help your senior loved one with those tasks, or a family member who has that as a strong point can take that task over.
What Are Your Limits?
Every caregiver has limits, even if you don’t understand what they are just yet. You might be able to care for your elderly family member now, but if your own health conditions worsen, that becomes a limit for you. Limits are physical, mental, emotional, and even financial barriers that you may not be able to cross, no matter how much you might want to. For example, your elderly family member may be mobile now, but if she’s unable to walk later, you may need help to lift her and to help her get into a wheelchair.
Do You Live Far Away?
If you’re a long-distance caregiver, you may have even bigger limits to work around. You’ll need to be able to visit your elderly family member periodically, which can be financially draining. You’ll also need to assess what you can put into place for your aging adult from afar. There may be other family members who are closer to your elderly family member who can be your boots on the ground when you can’t be there.
Look at the Full Picture.
As a caregiver, you’ll need to keep looking at the big picture when you’re trying to split up who can do which tasks. This helps you to keep the overall goal in mind while getting the best solutions that you can for your aging family member.
The sooner you can split up some of the duties of caregiving, the better for you as your elderly family member’s primary family caregiver. You’ll be less likely to bump up against your own limitations and you can be there for your aging adult.