Aids Health Foundation

Are you a Part-Time Caregiver?

Aids Health Foundation

By Joyce Hill

You may not perceive yourself as a caregiver because you don’t live with the person who needs your help or because you have a full- or part-time job that requires your attention away from your loved one.  Think again.

You might be a caregiver.

You may not perceive yourself as a caregiver because you’re not doing “all that much” for your loved one.  Take a moment to test your caregiver status:

  1. If your parent is currently residing in an assisted living community or skilled nursing home, and you’re the person they call whenever your parent needs something they cannot or do not provide …

You might be a caregiver.

You’re the caring “CEO” (or at least the POA – power of attorney) for your parent. You oversee his or her care, even when your parent no longer lives at home.

  1. If your spouse is undergoing rehabilitation after a hospital stay and you are at his bedside and in the therapy room every day …

You might be a caregiver.

You’re the caring “CEO” (or at least the POA) for your spouse. You’re there to make sure your spouse gets the proper care from staff at the rehab facility.

  1. If you’re the person the hospital nurse calls in the middle of the night because your mom isn’t sleeping …

You might be a caregiver.

You’re the caring person who knows that mom isn’t sleeping because her prescription for anti-anxiety meds was overlooked when she was admitted to the hospital.

  1. If you’re the person who schedules appointments and drives your loved one to the doctor’s office …

You might be a caregiver.

You’re the caring person who understands your loved one’s medical needs.

  1. If you’re the person the pharmacist contacts to discuss changes in prescription medications for someone else …

You might be a caregiver.

You’re the caring person who is in constant contact with the pharmacist about all the meds your loved one is taking.

  1. If you prepare meals and bring them to your father’s apartment for him …

You might be a caregiver.

You’re the caring person who makes sure your father is eating well.

  1. If while visiting your parent you do laundry, clean the house and toss out old food from the fridge …

You might be a caregiver.

You’re the caring person who knows that a clean house and laundry and keeping them safe from consuming toxic foods are good for your parent’s health and well-being.

  1. If you’re the person your parent relies on you to run errands (pick up medications, drive them to doctor appointments, or go grocery shopping, etc.) …

You might be a caregiver.

You’re the caring person your parent relies on to help him or her live independently for as long as possible.

  1. If you’re the person who makes sure that your loved one’s bills are paid on time to keep the heat on, the lights lit, and the mortgage or rent payments current …

You might be a caregiver.

 

You’re the caring person who doesn’t want your loved one to freeze in winter, live in darkness or to be put out on the street.

  1. If you’re the person who makes arrangements for outside (whether family members or professionals) help to take care of your loved one’s day-to-day needs…

You might be a caregiver.

You’re the caring person who knows how to make sure your loved one’s everyday needs are met by lining up qualified people to help him or her.

 

When you start thinking of yourself in terms of being the go-to person for your loved one who could not function without you, you’ll be better prepared to truly help your loved one.

If you do one of these things, some of these things or all of these things for your loved one …

You ARE a caregiver.

Aids Health Foundation

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