The new caregiver

We invite caregivers to share their thoughts with new caregivers here – your personal experience. your skills and the things you know will create the resource pool.

The realisation that you are a caregiver with someone dependent on you for their life and security, can happen slowly and in stages. Whatever the stage or the circumstances, there are some immediate issues that a new and inexperienced caregiver must address.

The key issues we’ve come across so far are :

  • Understanding as much as possible about the circumstances / medical condition / challenge that requires caregiving.
  • Identifying and contacting support resources that can help with caregiving. These include professionals, family members, friends, support groups, caregivers in similar circumstances and service providers. The resources also include suppliers and services some of which may be required for one time use and others on a regular basis.
  • Integrating the changes caregiving entails at a pace and in a way that can sustain over the long haul.
  • If possible and as appropriate given the circumstances, communicating regularly and positively with the person receiving care with the aim of enlisting their support and cooperation with the caregiver.
  • As far as possible, incorporating work and occupation, social life and activities and personal time for the caregiver in the new role and routine. Dealing with the isolation that mostly all caregivers report experiencing.
  • Revisiting the relationship between caregiver and the person being cared for – creating space for empathy and compassion in the relationship.

A selection of posts giving a seasoned caregiver’s perspective on some issues –

Doing a little homework: http://swapnawrites.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/learning-about-caregiving/

Pacing yourself and creating routines: http://swapnawrites.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/the-pacing-chosen-for-caregiving-sprint-long-distance-marathon/
and … http://swapnawrites.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/pacing-for-effective-caregiving/

Decision making: http://swapnawrites.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/caregiving-is-frightening-at-times/

Compassion, companionship and empathy: http://swapnawrites.wordpress.com/2010/01/22/a-paradigm-shift-by-moving-beyond-concepts/
and … http://swapnawrites.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/shifting-roles-in-caregiving/

Isolation of caregivers: http://swapnawrites.wordpress.com/2009/01/12/caregivers-and-their-new-planet/