Becoming a Caregiver: How to Navigate Your Way through the Stress

Becoming a Caregiver: How to Navigate Your Way through the Stress

As COVID-19 sends us all to our homes and families, many Americans are suddenly finding themselves having to act as caregivers.

Adult children, who never before had to care for someone else’s life, are now having to cope with the stresses of caregiving. They’re having to learn how to balance the time, the money, the work load, as well as how to actually take care of a senior citizen.

If you’ve suddenly found yourself in the same or similar boat, keep on reading for some pro suggestions to help you navigate your way through this ever-changing time.

Remember: You’re not alone.

The most important thing about becoming a caregiver is to remember that you are not in it alone.

In fact, according to AARP’s research report on Caregiving in the United States in 2020, there is an estimated 41.8 million Americans providing care for seniors 50 and older.

This means, that you have resources. And you should take advantage of those resources. You don’t have to figure everything out on your own. You can get help and advice from those who have already gone through what you’re going through now.

And if you’re still struggling to stay afloat, you can always ask a friend or hire an experienced aide to come in and take care of your senior every now and then. This will give you some time to take a breath and get yourself caught up.

Don’t forget about your own health.

When you’re busy taking care of someone else, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself.

Sadly, 23% of Americans have claimed that caregiving has had a negative impact on their own health- a 6% increase from 2015.

No matter what, you should always be watching your health, both physical and emotional. Don’t neglect things like exercise, nutrition, social interaction, relationships, self-care, etc.

Family caregivers often rationalize that caring for their loved seniors takes precedence over caring for themselves. But, what they don’t realize is that it’s not an either-or situation.

You can care for your seniors and care for yourself.

  • If you’re making a healthy meal for your senior, make one for yourself too.
  • If you’re making your senior exercise, follow along with your own workout.

Find little ways to care for your own health at the same time that you care for your senior’s.

Get paid to be a caregiver.

One of the biggest stress factors of caregiving is finances. The reason is two-fold:

  1. Caregivers often end up dipping into their own checking and savings accounts to pay for their seniors’ medical necessities.
  2. Caregiving takes the time of a full-time job. Which means, that caregivers lose out earning money from jobs they would have been able to do had they not been caregiving.

Ease the financial stress by getting paid to be a caregiver.

Agencies like AmeriBest Home Care are always looking for new talent to join the family. AmeriBest has opportunities for full-time, part-time, and per diem work- no experience necessary!

Sometimes, caregiving isn’t a choice. It’s a necessity.

And, when that happens, you may as well make the most of it.

6 Tips for New Caregivers During the COVID Pandemic

6 Tips for New Caregivers During the COVID Pandemic - AmeriBest Home Care

Stuck at home these days, many of us are finding ourselves having to take on new roles that we would otherwise pay someone else to fill. And this can be a little scary to do without positive guidance.

If you’ve suddenly found yourself having to act as a family caregiver, here are 6 tips and tricks of the trade.

Write things down.

When you’re caring for someone else, it’s important to stay organized. It’s all too easy to forget someone else’s schedule, so make things simple for yourself and write things down.

If you prefer typing that’s cool too.

Just having a mapped-out list of what needs to be done and when can easily knock down the stress levels a few notches.

Automate as much as possible.

Another easy way to keep track of everything is to set up daily reminders. There are a ton of apps out there that can help with medication scheduling, appointment tracking, as well as just general to-do list entries.

These apps will not only help remind you of what needs to be done, but also give you the extra push to get up and get going.

Don’t be afraid to ask for outside help.

One of the biggest mistakes new caregivers make is thinking that they have to take care of everything themselves.

But the truth is, there are plenty of people able and willing to help. If you’re getting overwhelmed, stressed, or just want some guidance- don’t be afraid to ask for outside help.

Call up friends, family, or professional home care aides. And, don’t let yourself get to a mental breaking point before you do so.

Asking for help demonstrates responsibility and caring.

Schedule family time.

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the work of caregiving, that you start to ignore the fun of it.

Caregiving is a remarkable task that lets you care, bond, and connect with your senior. If you’re not enjoying the work you do, you’re missing out on the core of caregiving.

To rekindle the spark, schedule some fun family time. This could be watching some TV together in the evening, building a project together in the afternoons, or even just bonding over some old photos in the basement. The main idea is to find something you both enjoy and set aside quality time for each other.

Watch your health.

You’ve probably heard this before, but you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.

Letting yourself get run down and weary is no way to treat yourself as a caregiver. If you want to give your senior the best care possible, then you have to be up for the challenge and in good spirits. And, in order to feel that way, you have to take care of your own health too.

This means, taking breaks when you need them, giving yourself some alone time to refresh, watching your diet and fitness, and being overall kind to yourself.

Which leads us to our last tip…

Speak to yourself with compassion.

If you missed something on your to-do list, or you just didn’t have time to get something done- don’t stress. The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up over something you’re only just getting the hang of. You wouldn’t do that to others, so don’t do that to yourself.

Instead, look at where you went wrong with a non-judgmental perspective. Understand what led you to make that mistake and learn from it. Then move on and give yourself some compassion.

You’re doing the best you can.

Uncovering the Real Answers: Can You Get Paid to Caregive?

Uncovering the Real Answers - AmeriBest Home Care

When you search the question “Can I get paid to caregive” or “How can I get paid to caregive,” there are different paths your query might take you.

Now, having different answers is great, but it can also make things a little confusing. Especially if you’re looking at the information for the first time. Because when you’re suddenly presented with all these different pages giving you various sets of information, which do you follow?

Which is the right answer for you?

So, in this article we’re going to break it down for you and explain what all the webpages are actually talking about.

Within the search lies two answers.

When you scroll through your search pages, you’re going to come across answers leading to two paths: getting paid to caregive for your parents or loved ones and getting paid to become a caregiver.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, it’s important to realize these are two separate answers, although they can sometimes overlap.

Let’s get into it.

Close-up of holding hands

Answer one: Getting paid to caregive for loved ones.
If you are already caring for your loved one, and looking for a way to pay the bills, this is the answer for you.

Yes, you can get paid to caregive for you loved ones. But it is not because of the work you are doing, but rather the circumstances you are doing them in. Getting paid to care for you loved ones essentially means acquiring financial support and financial medical aid.

There are all sorts of ways to get this kind of monetary support, it just involves filling out some forms and making a few phone calls. If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start, home care agencies often help with the technical aspects of applying.

When you sign up with AmeriBest, we’ll help you gather the information you need and get you to make the right phone calls. We help you with the bulk of it, so that you don’t have to worry about if you’re talking to the right people or providing the right information.

Our staff is highly experienced with how the processes work, so they’ll be able to help you find out what you qualify for in no time.

Answer two: Getting paid to become a caregiver.

Now, this answer is a career path.

While the first answer will help you find financial sources while you are providing care for your loved ones, this answer will help you get money though an actual job. While the first answer is more passive, this is answer involves an active approach from you.

Home care agencies are always looking for new caregivers. If caregiving is what you want to do, AmeriBest will help you make it happen. AmeriBest will help you get the training and experience you need. And once you get out on the field, you’ll get competitive pay and all the flexibility you need to be happy and care for yourself as well.

It’s a wonderful opportunity.

It’s Time for A Break: Caregiver Vacation Tips

Caregiver Vacation Tips - AmeriBest Home Care

It’s almost summer, and you know what that means… vacation time!

Caregiving is hard work. So, it’s important to give yourself time off to rejuvenate and unwind. This way, when you get back to work, you’ll be ready to get back at it with some pep in your step.

Now, as a caregiver, you’ll know that things don’t just stop moving the moment you go on vacation. Life goes on, and the people in your care continue to need caring.

Often times, this thought prevents caregivers from taking the well-deserved vacations that they need. But don’t let that happen! Because, there are ways around it.

If you’re planning a vacation, here are some tips to make sure everything is safe and sound at home, while you’re away.

Hire backup

The most important thing to arrange before leaving for vacation, is who will be taking care of your loved one in your stead. Although you’ll only be gone for a short time, it’s important to find someone who will take just as good care of your loved one as you do. This means, getting a caregiver who will actively listen to yours and your loved one’s needs, as well as is kind and experienced.

If you’re having trouble finding a caregiver on your own, consider contact-using a home care agency who will do the search for you. At AmeriBest, we match you with top-notch caregivers, who will work hard and do good by you and your loved one.

Portrait Of Female Nurse Wearing Scrubs In Hospital

Make sure the house is stocked

Before taking off, make sure that everything is ready. And we don’t just mean your suitcase.

You’ll want to be certain that the house is fully stocked with everything your loved one might want and need. Of course, if there’s anything your loved one needs while you’re away, your hired substitute caregiver can take care of it. But, if you know that most things are already taken care of before you leave, you’ll feel a lot better about leaving the nest.

Not to mention, only you know what your loved one loves and his or her favorite things. Which means, that you can leave a few nice surprises in the house that will make your loved one happy and know how much you care.

Organize your contact-us info

It’s always a good idea to make sure your loved one or your hired caregiver can reach you easily. So, take the time before you leave to organize your contact-us info. Obviously, you’ll want to leave your regular cell or the overseas number you’ll be using. But it’s also smart to leave hotel contact-us info as well.

Leave your loved one a list with the names of the hotels you’ll be staying at, as well as the hotel numbers. This will leave your loved one feeling safe and relaxed, because they’ll know that they can easily reach you if the need should arise.

Plus, it might be fun to chat and catch up on all the vacation happenings.

Countering the Stress and Reaping the Benefits

Countering the Stress and Reaping the Benefits - AmeriBest Home Care

Caring for a loved one can be tough.

And finding the right balance between taking care of your own needs and taking care of your loved ones’ need, is the hardest part.

That’s why so many caregivers find themselves running out of steam and out of spirit. They exert so much energy racing around between work, family, and personal activities –trying to make it all work just right –they eventually burn themselves out.

And that takes an emotional toll not just on the caregiver, but also on the loved one. Because our loved ones know when we’re stressed. They know when we’re exhausted, and they know when they’re part of the cause. Which makes them unhappy, too.

It’s an unfortunate cycle.

Luckily- it doesn’t have to be that way!
Caregiving doesn’t have to be a chore; it can be a passion, kindness, and a career.

When you become a professional caregiver with AmeriBest Home Care, we help you strike the balance you need to make you and your loved one happy.

Here are just some of the many benefits of becoming a professional caregiver.

Making Bank

For most caregivers, the biggest emotional toll is stress from finances. How do you take care of your loved one while also making enough money to do so? The anxiety of working all day in order to support yourself and your loved one, and then spending all night actually taking care of your loved one is difficult for anyone to handle.

That’s where professional caregiving comes in. When you sign up with AmeriBest Home Care to become a registered caregiver- you get PAID to CAREGIVE.

Yes, that’s right. You heard us correctly: becoming a professional caregiver allows you to get paid for what you’re already doing!

Fulfilling Career Goals

Becoming a professional caregiver isn’t just a one-time duty- it’s a career. When you sign up with AmeriBest, we won’t just leave you to figure things out on your own. We’ll teach you all you need to know to be the best caregiver you can be. Then, we’ll help you out onto the field, and get you set up to caregive.

When caregiving is your career, you’re not just helping your loved ones, you’re helping yourself too.

Smiling carer with senior in rest home

 Getting Support

When you’re caring for a loved one on your own, one of the most tiresome things is not having the support you need- whether this be emotional, mental, or physical.

But, as a professional caregiver with AmeriBest Home Care, we make sure you always have the support you need. Our friendly staff is always there to give you an extra hand when you have questions. And our mentors are there to guide you through it all.

With AmeriBest, you’re not just working alone- you’re working with a family and a network. You’re working with a full support group that backs you every step of the way.

Everyone needs a little bit of help. Even caregivers.

Seven Steps to Being the Absolute Best Caregiver to your Loved One

If you’re the talented, professional caregiver to a member of your own family, you’re in a wonderful position. You get to offer loving care and support to someone important to you as they heal and work back towards a life of independence, something they just couldn’t do without you. It’s vital for them, it’s rewarding for you: it’s truly a win-win all around. But just because you have this great job with someone you care about and trust doesn’t mean things will be a walk in the park: whether you’re caring for a family member or someone you just met, caregiving can be a challenge. Preparing for your day and taking extra steps to ensure you’re providing the best care possible will not only help your family member heal and grow, but will ensure that you get the most out of your job as well. So, ready to be the best caregiver you can be? Here are seven tips to ensuring the care you provide is exceptional and the relationship you cultivate with your loved one is healthy and empowering for you both.

  1. Take care of your own health. No, you don’t need to be a body-builder to give thoughtful and attentive care to your loved one. But depending on their needs, their level of mobility and a host of other factors, the physical aspects of caregiving could be demanding. You might find yourself carrying heavy groceries, lifting or assisting your loved one, pushing a wheelchair for long walks – all things that can wear on you if you’re not in the best shape. So join a gym! Stretch in the morning; do the things you need to do to make sure you’re in adequate shape to care for the person who needs you.
  2. Remain open to suggestion. In any job, it’s easy to fall into your own pattern or style of operation and to resist change. But the routine you and your loved one might have set up for yourself may not ultimately be in the best interest of their health. If doctors, nurses or other caregivers make suggestions or give advice, listen with open ears and consider thoughtfully the changes being proposed. And on that note:
  3. Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors. Your loved one might have challenges communicating or articulating their needs. But even if they don’t, a part of the care you provide is in playing an active role in your loved one’s care team, which includes doctors, nurses, and others. So make the most of those doctor’s visits: take notes during discussions, or bring a list of questions to go over while you’re at your loved one’s appointment. Make sure that when you communicate with doctors, you’re advocating for your loved one and working together with the doctor as a member of a team. This is definitely an art more than a science, but becoming an exceptional communicator is a vital part of providing the very best care.
  4. Give yourself breaks. Caregiving can be physically and emotionally draining, even if you’re working with a family member that you love and trust. So on weekends or evenings when opportunities arise to relax, take them! Read books, take naps, do what you need to do to mentally and physically recharge so that you can go into each day feeling great.
  5. Organize, organize, organize! Your loved one will likely have stacks of paperwork: medical discharge forms, pharmaceutical benefit information, insurance information… it’s a lot to keep up with! Help them keep organized and in control of this information by using file folders, binders, envelopes, or whatever works best so that you both know where to find this vital information when it’s needed.
  6. Be a detective. You need to be vigilant and watch out for a lot of different things when you’re caring for another person. First (obviously), you’re watching their health: are they deteriorating in any way? Showing signs of depression or stress? But you’re also watching other things. You’re watching the relationship with your loved one and their doctor – is this doctor answering the questions that need to be answered? You’re watching the news! Maybe new technologies are emerging that could benefit your loved one, or a new therapy has just been unveiled in your area that could help this person in some way. In so many ways, a caregiver needs to keep their ears open, their eyes peeled, and always be investigating for the sake of the person their caring for.
  7. Finally, seek help for yourself! You might be the only designated caregiver for your loved one, but you are NOT doing this alone. You have support – many, many resources and organizations are available to help make sure you are getting the most out of your job, and your loved one is getting the absolute best care available. At Ameribest Homecare, we’re here to make sure that you have everything you need to succeed as the qualified, talented caregiver to a person you love. Reach out to us with questions, concerns, or issues you’re having: we’re happy to help and provide you with the resources and tools you need to succeed!