Although caring for a loved one can be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have, it can also be one of the most difficult. To ensure that the process goes well while navigating through previously uncharted waters as a family caregiver, you’ll need to understand the challenges ahead and how to prepare accordingly. What follows are some important tips to remember when you find yourself suddenly placed in the position of caring for a loved one. 

Do Your Research

Learn all you can about your loved one’s illness, condition, or disease by talking to their health care providers. What are their anticipated, specific care needs both in the short- and long-term? Get all the information you can from books, pamphlets, and the internet. Are there any specific skills you may need to learn, like safely lifting a person with limited mobility?

Explore Your Options

Write down all the specific activities of daily living (ADLs) needs that your loved one has, like bathing, transportation, meals, etc. Once you have your list, discuss ways to meet those needs with the care recipient, family members, friends, and healthcare providers.

It is also essential to be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of others based on their time and talents, as a failure to do so will probably result in caregiver burnout.

Research Community Resources

Most communities offer services that support care recipients and their families. Start by contacting your local Area Agency on Aging. Look into other resources like adult day programs, meal delivery services, paratransit services, and professional home care. You can also contact organizations specific to your loved one’s disease or health condition, for example, the