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Becoming a Caregiver

Good caregiving requires organization, patience, resourcefulness and stamina.

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Caregivers come to this role in many different ways. For some, the beginning is abrupt: perhaps there's a trigger event, such as a health crisis or financial emergency that requires someone to step to take care of things. Others assume the caregiver role gradually, providing more and more practical and emotional support. Often, defining just when one became a caregiver is more difficult.

The caregiving role is not an easy one: it can be stressful, time-consuming and physically demanding. Good caregiving requires organization, patience, resourcefulness and stamina. Caregivers also must understand that to remain emotionally and physically healthy enough to provide care, they must take care of their own needs as well as those of the recipient.

But to coordinate care effectively, take care of oneself and find support and resources, the caregiver first needs to recognize that he or she is fulfilling that role:

Do you provide your parent/relative/friend with major help with financial matters, such as check writing, insurance, budgeting, bill paying? Yes No
Do you coordinate medical care (e.g., doctor's visits, medicines) for your parent/relative/friend? Yes No
Do you provide assistance so your parent/relative/friend can remain in his or her own home? Yes No
Do you provide major assistance with chores, or coordinate these (e.g., house cleaning, lawn mowing, home repairs, snow shoveling)? Yes No
Do you provide transportation regularly for your parent/relative/friend? Yes No
Are you responsible for most of the emotional support to your parent/relative/friend? Yes No
Are you providing physical care and assistance (e.g., bathing, dressing, toileting) and/or informal nursing care (e.g., administration of medications) to your parent/relative/friend? Yes No
Are you the one responsible for communicating about your parent/relative/friend with other family members and/or support people and/or professionals? Yes No

If you answered yes to any of these questions, there's a good possibility that you've become a caregiver.

In 2008 the Larimer County Office on Aging produced a short video of interviews with local family members who were caring for frail elders.  You can view this at https://www.youtube.com/user/eldercareable.

 

 

 

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Anne B. Jorgensen
Anne B. Jorgensen
Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C.
5285 McWhinney Blvd, Suite 100
Loveland, CO 80538
970-304-0075

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