Caregiving changes depending on where you are in the various stages. There’s not always a defined mark between stages, but you can pinpoint where you are based on what you’re doing and where your focus is.
Before the Chaos
There’s a stage of caregiving that many people don’t think about much and it occurs right before you acknowledge that you are truly a caregiver. Your senior may be growing older, but she’s still very self-sufficient. As she needs more and more help, your role as a caregiver may start to expand slowly without you noticing the change just yet.
Learning the Ropes
As a newer caregiver, you’re getting a handle on what your elderly family member needs and how she needs your help the most. You might be helping her with an acute situation that literally developed overnight, like an injury. Or she might have been experiencing a chronic health issue for a while now that you finally need to step in and assist with a little more.
You’re Getting There
While the earlier stages of caregiving can feel as if you don’t know what you’re doing, you might slowly start to realize that you’ve got this. You might be hitting your stride as a caregiver, even with occasional hiccups here and there due to health changes or other situations. You and your senior can float along in this stage for quite a while.
Things Are Nearing the End
No matter how much you don’t want it to happen, your senior is eventually going to need more and more help. She’s also going to edge closer to the end of her life and that’s when you may find yourself doing a lot more hands-on caregiving than you did in the past. Depending on your aging family member’s health, this phase may show up suddenly without the warning you want.
You’re No Longer a Caregiver
After your elderly family member passes away, you might find it difficult to stop thinking of yourself as a caregiver. You might continue to refer to yourself as one for quite a while. That’s okay because you are grieving your loss and you’re transitioning back to another stage of your life.
No matter where you are in your own caregiving journey, elderly care providers can help you to feel as if you’ve got everything better under control. They can help with countless tasks as well as ensure that you’re able to take the time away that you need.