Caregiving: What Can I Expect?

One of the biggest fear issues when a caregiving situation begins, or when a major change occurs, is fear of the unknown.

What can I expect?  What’s going to happen?  Can I handle it?  What can I do to prepare?  And a thousand other questions.

While none of us can predict precisely what the future will hold, there are some things we can do to get a better handle on the possibilities and probabilities.  And when we understand the possibilities and probabilities, we can do something very important:  prepare and plan.

So how do we determine the possibilities and probabilities?

  • Google can be your best friend.  Just be sure to go to trusted sites, and stay away from non-authoritative sites.  For medical issues, the NIH sites and organizations like Mayo and other big healthcare organizations are most reliable.  You’ll also find good information on sites from organizations dedicated to major diseases.
  • Ask your medical providers.  Also ask them for material or organizations they would recommend to help you.  Ask them who can help you navigate what might be ahead.
  • Consider joining a support group of caregivers dealing with issues similar to yours.  You’ll find people who have already dealt with many of the possibilities and probabilities you are facing.

The better handle you have on what you can expect, the better job you can do in preparing to deal with what may happen.  If it’s possible that home healthcare may be needed, for example, you can do some investigating on services available in your area and get some feedback on how satisfied others who have used their service are.  If it’s probable that at some point a facility specializing in caring for those with dementia will be required, you can become familiar with those in your area, get some feedback on them, and maybe even get to know the management so you are prepared when the time comes.

Why do this learning and preparation that you might not have to use?  Because being prepared helps you deal with your caregiving responsibilities more confidently.  Because being prepared adds a measure of peace to your caregiving.  And because there will be enough unexpected turns in caregiving to keep the adrenalin flowing.  You just don’t need any extra that you could have prepared for.

Comments are closed.