If you are a caregiver for someone you love, you’re probably well aware of the options available to you. If you have chosen to remain the primary caregiver, the thought of a professional caregiver coming to your home, or even moving to an assisted living facility, are probably thoughts in the back of your mind labelled “someday”. But how will you know when someday approaches? Here is a checklist that you should visit regularly to keep track of how you and your family are doing, so you will know when you can no longer ‘make do’ in your situation.
- Do you have time to do all of the things you love, such as visiting friends/family, enjoying hobbies, and time to yourself?
- Do you feel comfortable leaving your loved one unattended for part of a day if you need to be somewhere?
- Are you experiencing any emotional difficulties, such as stress, anxiety, sadness, nervousness, or depression?
- Is your loved one’s medical status worsening? Do you possess the expertise to care for them?
- Do you have enough support (through friends or family) if you ever required help or some respite time?
- Are you financially capable of being a full-time caregiver?
- Are you capable of maintaining both your loved one’s health and your own health?
- Are you and your family happy?
If this checklist produced any concerns for you, or highlighted problems that you maybe didn’t realise were problems, you might be ready to move into professional caregiving. Welcoming a new caregiver into your family does not need to mean a relief of duty if you don’t want it to. Some families ‘phase into’ caregiving to ensure a smooth transition. In other situations, families wait until it is too late and they have reached a point where they are incapable of caring for their loved one and need a full-time caregiver immediately. Make sure that you are keeping in touch with how you are ‘making do’, so you and your family can enjoy the best of times together without worry.