5 Essential Steps for Family Caregivers
We started this important series considering the five (5) essential steps in supporting Family Caregivers. The caregiver’s well-being is vital, as is caring for the person needing care.
Here we highlight the necessity of creating a care plan for yourself as the caregiver. In support of the millions of families who rely on a family member to aid in the care of another family loved one, it’s vital to review Five (5) essential steps to support them.
With Step 4, we reviewed Care Plan for your loved one and highlighted a few tips on coordinating with family and friends to build a care plan for a loved one. Today in Step 5, we discuss creating a Care Plan for Yourself:
- Break the Ice and Start the Conversation
- Bring Together Your Team
- Coordination of Care Make a Care Plan
- Care for Your Loved One
- Care Plan for Yourself
Step 5. Care Plan for Yourself
It’s easy for family caregivers to limit their focus strictly to the care of others and forget or neglect their own needs and well-being. Unrealistic expectations, and loss of control, can lead to burnout. As a result caregivers often experience incredibly high stress and anxiety leading to depression and even resulting in significant health issues. Caregivers are twice as likely to experience depression, and 40% of caregivers experience burnout.
I’m challenged and struggle with this tip; it is hard since I’ve had this role most of my life. Hence, I had to draw a line and set boundaries. It’s tough – “tough love,” and it’s NOT easy!
Know that you and your loved one will benefit by ensuring you stay emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy and keep your sanity.
- Give yourself a break; take time off. Incorporating exercise, healthy eating, meditation, and sleep into your weekly schedule is essential. And take time for outside activities to disconnect. It’s the best medicine for you and your loved one. You’ll return refreshed and energized. Be available to spend time with friends or family, and never allow yourself to feel isolated or disconnected from others.
- Keep track of your caregiving costs. Are take time off from work, losing pay and career opportunities? Are you paying the groceries, medications, or household expenses?
- Employer communication. Caring for loved ones is becoming more common and impacting people at all levels. Know your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act and your employer’s benefits. If possible, you can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year for caregiving duties.
- Advocate for yourself. It’s essential to communicate with your loved ones your boundaries and limits without feeling guilty. Remember your Team for support, and don’t be shy. Speak up with intent and loudly.
Being a caregiver is one of the most challenging things that life can throw at you. Consider these 5 steps in navigating your role as a Caregiver or Care Partner: it’s a strong start in navigating a stressful reality and managing the best care for yourself and your loved ones.
More resources will be available soon, including the new Your Family’s Essential Resource Workbook.
To learn more about how long-term care insurance can help prepare you or your family, contact me for a free quote at Eleonore.Weber@YourLifeSecurity.com.
Share these and your ideas with your neighbors, family, and friends.
I’m excited to announce that I’m looking forward to launching Your Family’s Essential Resource Workbook. It’s a valuable tool for anyone who wants to keep their loved ones informed in an emergency.
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All the best, Eleonore
Eleonore Weber, CLTC
Founder, Broker, Author of Long-Term Planning
Life Planning Solutions: Certified Long-Term Care Specialist
Health, Disability, Life, Long-Term Care & Medicare Insurance
Cell: (312) 952-1706
© Copyright Eleonore Weber with Your Life Security 2023