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Caregiving and Decision-Making During a Pandemic – How to Do It

Caring for an elderly or disabled loved one whose health declines can be a labor of love and sometimes a job of necessity. Millions of Americans provide unpaid tending for someone with a severe health issue each year. These heroes put in hours of assistance to others while the stress and strain of caregiving take a toll on their own health. Couple this with the ongoing pandemic, and stress levels are sky-high, especially when it comes to making decisions.

To help you navigate this rocky terrain, Aging Changes offers the following insight.

Caregiving Can Be Fulfilling

If you’re caring for an ill, elderly, or disabled relative, you’re one of the 65 million Americans who tend to loved ones with a chronic condition, fragility, or disability. Family caregivers tend to provide around 24 hours of care per week, and when you’re a caregiver, it can be challenging to care for yourself. Still, without self-care, you cannot continue to tend to others.

Although caregiving may help strengthen connections with a loved one and help you find joy, fulfillment, and a sense of being appreciated in tending to others, for many, the strain of it can become overwhelming with time. Most family and friends usually take on the role without any or very little training while expected to meet numerous complex demands without much help. So, when you get to that point where you have to make some long-term decisions regarding the situation, you need to assess a few things.

Evaluate the Current Situation

Caregiving tasks, stress levels, and responsibilities tend to increase with time. That is why it’s imperative to take a step back every now and then to reassess the situation and observe how things have been changing with time.

You may notice that you’ve added more to your daily to-do list, and every extra responsibility occupies valuable time and feeds off your energy, taking a toll on your physical and mental health. Or things could still be doable, but you could use some help with specific tasks like housekeeping, meals, or home maintenance. Or, perhaps the level of care your loved one needs now has increased in such a way that it’s too much for one person to deal with.

Think thoroughly about the things that need to change and seek help if you need it. Numerous caregiver support programs and resources can help. For example, agencies like Aging Changes can lighten your load with daily check-ins, Skype calls, and they can even provide help finding an assisted living facility.

Ensure You Make the Right Decisions

If you find yourself in the situation of having to make some long-term decisions about the care level the loved one needs, consider all the aspects possible. These include moving them to your place or a care facility and selling their house to pay for their long-term care costs. As a caregiver for an elderly or disabled loved one, at some point, you need to make some decisions for the sake of both of you, but ensure you discuss with them first — if their mental state permits — and consider their wishes.

Selling a home can be difficult, especially during a pandemic. These days, sellers are raising the bar with their listings by offering virtual tours to drive interest among buyers, provide a more in-depth glimpse of the place, and stay safe. Using 3D walking software, virtual open or virtual chat house tours are some of the best options to employ now, and so are staging and making some changes in the decor to increase the chance of selling quickly.

It’s also important to review any necessary paperwork related to selling your loved one’s home. This includes reviewing their homeowners insurance, property taxes and mortgage obligations. If you have issues or mortgage-related questions, look to customer support options to help you make sense of it all.

Don’t Forget About Self-Care

As a caregiver, you may be apprehensive and worried right now, especially with all the chaos in the world. Just remember that while caregiving is difficult, it has its rewards, and with proper self-care, you’ll be able to tend to others with a joyous heart.

When you can’t be around to help your aging loved one, Aging Changes can help. We offer three tiered plans for services that provide support for the senior in your life. Check out our plans today to find out more.