The Caregiving Years: An Introduction to Caregiver's Life

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The Caregiving Years: An Introduction

An Introduction About the Caregiver’s Life in Six Stages

Caregiving is and has always been a very selfless service. Helping someone with his/her day-to-day activities is not an easy task and demands that the caregiver remain fully committed towards his duties. These include taking care of someone with a chronic illness, managing his medications, talking to doctors and nurses on somebody else’s behalf, helping bathe and dress that particular person and taking care of other household chores which the patient is not in a position to manage. Caregiving is also applicable to expecting mothers, in the sense that the community rallies around the female during the stage of pregnancy. It is also applicable for a family member, spending his last years with you delivering caregiver services and the family member being the caree. At times, the question of ‘what if I drop this person in a nursing home’ might cross your mind filling you with self-doubt. It might erode that much needed confidence which is imperative within care assistants. We tried to enlighten caregiver’s life.

Caregiver's Life

 

Hence, caregiver’s life  have been segregated into 6 stages, each with a challenge and purpose to help care assistants understand their roles and responsibilities at that particular stage better.

Stage 1: The Expectant Caregiver

First stage of caregiver’s life. The challenge in front of the caregiver is to learn and understand the caree’s health, legal, financial and emotional needs. The situation gets more typical when you are caring for your mother or any other family member. The purpose of this stage is to prepare as well as one can to be the best possible caregiver. To become one, you must research for options, gather information and create an environment where the caree can let his emotions out.

Stage 2: The Freshman Caregiver

The challenge at this stage is to find out workable solutions and building that resolve within to move on from what does not. The purpose of this stage is to make an official entry into the caregiving role. This is the best stage to burn your fingers and learn how the healthcare industry actually functions. The caregiver in you actually comes out during this stage, where you begin discharging your duties responsibly.

Stage 3: The Entrenched Caregiver

The main challenge is to find the strength and support to continue and the purpose is to develop a formal routine, a schedule of sorts, for both the caregiver and the person being cared for. Having a proper routine in place helps deal with overwhelming stress and factors that start wearing you out. The routine also includes being mentally prepared for things that unexpectedly pop up.

Stage 4: The Pragmatic Caregiver

The main challenge is to get a better understanding of yourself and your caree. As you settle down into your role, you must also sit back and reflect.

Stage 5: The Transitioning Caregiver

The biggest challenge in this stage is to let go of the fear that the end is nearing. One must come to terms with the fact that this is the natural cycle of life, and must not feel guilty that perhaps the caree passed a bit early because you did not take adequate care. If the caree is too old, overdoing things might also bring discomfort. The purpose is to win this battle internally so as to be at peace with yourself. As the journey nears its end, you must have the resolve to deal with the pain and grief.

Stage 6: The Godspeed Caregiver

The main challenge is to integrate one’s earlier role of being a family caregiver into one’s new life and the purpose behind this is to implement lessons learned from one’s role as a caregiver for the elderly whether it is family member or friend.

 

These are the 6 main stages of caregiver’s life and the respective challenges and purposes. One must understand these as deeply as possible.

Victoria Bryant, is a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) who leads the care team. Dr. Bryant has held numerous leadership positions and has been recognized in such distinctions as Top 30 Influential Women of Houston 2016, Houston Business Journals 40 under 40, Houston Womans Magazine 50 Most Influential Women of 2013, VAN TV Community Leader Award 2015, Texas Executive Women Women On The Move 2015, and others.

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