The first day at a new job usually induces feelings of doubt, heightened anxiety and fear of the unknown. Luckily some of these fears are partially subsided once you have adequately gone over the job description and the training manual has been fully assessed. Half of the battle is discovering exactly what is expected of you. Unfortunately, there are some jobs that fall into our laps without the accompaniment of training manuals, guidelines or job descriptions, which induces a whole host of new anxieties and fears. One such job is caregiving.
Entering uncharted territory without any outside help is absolutely overwhelming. Caregiving can consume your life with chaos, disorganization and mental anguish. What many caregivers are unaware of is that it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a simple trick caregivers can employ to make their job less stressful: Manage caregiving like you are managing a business.
Caregivers Should Treat Caregiving As Though it is a Job.
Running your caregiving role like it is a business will empower you and allow you to gain a sense of control. When people are thrust into caregiving roles, they are often overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. If you were to start your own business, you would not fly by the seat of your pants, you would line up resources, obtain legal documents and make a financial plan. The same goes for caregiving. You need to get all of your parent’s documents in order, so you have easy access to them including medical history, medications, doctor’s appointments, coordinating medical care, power of attorney and their finances. Begin looking up resources in your community like support groups for caregivers and eldercare assistance. The key to running a healthy business is to remain proactive instead of reactive.
Own your Title as the CEO.
As any good boss knows, being the CEO does not make you responsible for handling every single facet of the corporation. As primary caregiver, part of your responsibility lies in delegating the work at hand. Avoiding caregiver burnout is more easily attainable by dividing up the burden. Look to your family members for help. Your significant other, siblings and children should all play a role in the caregiving process. Assess what each person can bring to the table and delegate accordingly.
Garner Help from Outside Resources.
If your family members/employees are not willing or able to handle their fair share of the responsibility, it is your duty to bring in outside reinforcements. Take solace in home health care options, elder daycare or a geriatric care manager. While seeking outside help may cost you more financially, it is well worth the investment for your sanity. Remaining healthy both mentally and physically are very important to your caregiving role. You should not undertake all of the responsibility yourself and should focus on establishing a method of caregiving that works best for both you and your loved one.
When you assess your caregiving role as a business, you will find you have more control over your life and your responsibilities. Remaining organized, prepared and proactive will leave you feeling more at ease. By keeping your sanity you will find that you are a much better caregiver, which will benefit both you and your loved one.