Whether a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, needs some assistance with the activities of daily living or requires a high level of care to remain at home, caregivers seem to provide it all. When the time comes that your loved one needs care, it’s common that family members stand in to serve as the caregivers that provide the support, love and service that they need in order to continue living well in the comfort of their own home. This journey is rarely easy and can come with a great deal of stress and uncertainty, but with a caregiving guide and some dedicated support from caring professionals, caregiving can be made easier.

According to Alison Wall, Senior Living Consultant at TreVista Antioch, an assisted living and memory care community in Antioch, CA, caregivers are often the unsung heroes in charge of making sure their loved one is safe, well taken care of and experiencing the high quality of life they deserve. “Family members of an aging loved one often step right into the role of caregiving because they believe that it’s what they should do for their loved one. It all boils down to the concept of ‘they cared for me growing up, now it’s my turn to return the favor,’” says Alison. “We find that many caregivers have the drive and desire to help their loved one as they age, but don’t have the guidance they need to start them off on the right foot. It’s important that caregivers know what to expect and have the support they need in order to be the best caregiver they can be for their loved one. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources and guides available to help caregivers along the way.”

Where to Start on Your Caregiving Journey: A Guide

While it can be extremely overwhelming at first, caring for a loved one can be made simpler with just a few helpful tips. Consider some of these caregiving essentials to help guide you on your journey.

  • Educate yourself on what your loved one needs. It can help to ease your transition into caregiving if you research and prepare for what you will face during your time as a caregiver. If your loved one needs additional assistance or has health issues, look into how to maintain their dignity while assisting them. If they have a disease or even memory loss, consider what those changes will look like as your loved one ages. Certain diseases may require added security or additional help as time goes on.
  • Designate a caregiving team. It’s important for caregivers to realize they don’t need to do everything on their own. In fact, they should ask for help and organize a caregiving team. Talk to other friends and family members and see if they would be willing to help with specific tasks as needed. Write down jobs you will likely be doing and see if anyone will volunteer to do any for you. This can consist of picking up medications, getting groceries for your loved one, making sure they have transportation to and from doctor’s appointments. Any little bit can help when it comes to caring for an aging loved one.
  • Plan for the future. No matter what level of care your loved one needs, it’s always a good idea to plan for the future. Visit an elder law attorney and discuss your loved one’s will, determine who their power of attorney will be, see what their preferences for future care are. If your loved one’s care needs are progressive or they haven’t made their wishes yet, have the discussion about whether or not an assisted living or memory care community is an option they might consider. If it is, start touring communities and plan how to pay for them. If they prefer to stay at home as long as possible, begin making the necessary changes.
  • Make adaptations to the home. Ensure your loved one’s home is safe for them to navigate. Remove any tripping hazards, ensure cords are out of the way and that rugs are secured down. Install handles in the shower and by the toilet and place non-slip rugs where slippery surfaces tend to be. Be sure that if they live on two floors that there are handrails on all stairs, including those outside.
  • Manage caregiver stress to prevent burnout. Caregiver stress and burnout are extremely common in caregivers, which is why it is crucial to ask for help and realize that you can’t do absolutely everything on your own. Make sure you spend time doing the things you love and be sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy and exercise. Just because you are a caregiver doesn’t mean you need to give up time to yourself. If needed, talk to friends and family about sitting with your loved one while you rest or run errands. If this isn’t possible, try to look into a respite care or adult day program. If you find you are having trouble coping with all of your caregiving duties, or simply need some added assistance, attend a local support group.

For more information or guidance on how to begin your caregiving journey, or for additional tips and tricks to make caring for your loved one as smooth as possible, contact the team at TreVista Antioch. Our experts can provide you with support, proven caregiving techniques and the resources you need to help make your loved one’s days fulfilling and your experience better. Call us today at 925•329•6292.

Making the everyday extraordinary.

Family-owned and operated, Agemark Senior Living is the new owner of TreVista Antioch. Known for creating warm, welcoming communities, vibrant lifestyles and engaging programming, Agemark has been one of the most premier and trusted senior living providers since 1987. As Agemark’s newest community, TreVista Antioch is located on 10 acres in a prime location close to shopping and local attractions, as well as the great outdoors. Our beautiful community features a personalized, resident-centric approach to care that provides support, all while helping residents live full, connected lives.

At TreVista Antioch, we provide assisted living and memory care set in a beautiful environment that not only meets our residents’ needs but makes them, as well as their families, feel more at home. Although our gorgeous community is a plus, we truly believe it’s our programming and caring, dedicated staff that makes TreVista home. With our family-oriented inspiration and resident-centric approach, our residents flourish and experience days full of joy and meaning. Our staff learns each resident’s likes and dislikes and their values and pasts, right down to the dreams they never thought they could accomplish, in order to customize their care and make their dreams a reality.

LifeCycles wellness programming encourages our residents to connect, engage and enjoy life, every day. Our LifeCycles programming is designed to focus on the four dimensions of wellness: physical, social, spiritual and intellectual. This is achieved through a wide range of daily activities and routines, from outings and excursions to local events and programming at the community. At TreVista Antioch, our residents have the tools and care they need to make each day fulfilling, engaging and vibrant. Contact us to learn more!

Call us at 925•237•1952 for more information or to schedule a personal visit today.

TreVista Antioch is part of the Agemark family of senior living communities.