A caregiver’s job is certainly not easy, but it can be rewarding.  A little preparation (and knowledge) can help simplify things and make caring for a loved one more enjoyable.

Whether you are currently in the caregiver’s role, or anticipate serving in it in the future, here are a few tips:

  • Initiate the conversation about caregiving early so that you have your loved one’s input.
  • Have all legal documents in order. Ensure you have access to health care and financial information if needed and have the ability to make decisions.
  • Organize information and documents (birth certificates, Medicare and insurance cards, wills, power of attorney, advance directives, medications lists, banking information, tax filings, etc.) so they are up-to-date and easy-to-find.
  • Be involved with healthcare providers and know how to communicate effectively with them.
  • Join a caregiver’s support group. Caregiving can be difficult and knowing you are not alone can help ease the burden.
  • Take care of yourself so that you are well enough to care for your loved one.
  • Don’t be shy! Ask for (and accept) help so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

The Darien Library will be hosting a Caregiver Café, a year-long series of one-hour events for local caregivers and the adults they care for.  This will be an opportunity to enjoy activities while connecting with other caregivers.

I will be participating in the kickoff event for this program as moderator on a panel discussion, Caring for the Caregivers.  The event will be held on Tuesday, September 17th at 7pm at the Darien Library and will feature three panelists who will discuss how to take care of yourself as a caregiver as well as answer questions, help ease anxieties, and provide you with local resources to help you as you support your loved ones.  Click here for more information.