As we get older and have family around us, it should come as no surprise that at some point you might need to act as a caregiver. It might be for your child after an accident; it might be for your spouse or a parent after an illness or a stroke. Whoever it is for and for whatever reason, it can be tough. Obviously, you have love for the individual that you are caring for. But the whole process can take its toll on you. So if you are going to become a caregiver or have had a family member hospitalized, then you might need to know what to do. Here are some things that all caregivers should know before they start.
Know Side Effects of Medication
If they have come out of hospital or rehabilitation, for something such as a stroke or a heart attack, then the chances are that they will be on a lot of medication. Not only will you need to know how often to give the medication, but it is of paramount importance to know the side effects of them too. It could be that there are side effects like sickness or headaches. If your loved one suddenly gets like that, you need to know if you should put it down to the medication of if it is something worse. So speak to the doctor or nurse in-depth about what to expect.
If your loved one has had a heart attack or even a stroke, then it doesn’t make sense to give them the food that they were normally eating, for example. If their diet was quite high in fat and cholesterol, then giving them the same again could lead to a second heart attack, for instance. So look for ways to help them get better, but also to reduce the chances of it happening again. A healthy diet is a good way to go, as well as walks or exercise. Just make sure that it is suited to your loved one, so it isn’t too strenuous for them.
Monitor Changes in Attitude and Temperament
Getting depression after something like a stroke can be quite common. It can be especially common when someone has to deal with the loss of the use of a limb, for example. As it can come from frustration and comparing things to how they were before. So if your loved one seems to change temperament, then you do need to monitor it closely. Depression can lead them down a dark path and can hinder their recovery, especially if it means that they don’t want to exercise or get out and about. If you think they might be getting depressed, then consult their doctor to formulate an action plan.
Enlist Help and Support
There will be many people in your family and community that will be able to help. So make sure that you call on them when you need to. Don’t try to do it alone. There might even be some support groups in the community or through the medical community near you. So look into it if you feel like you need some advice or support.