Kristin GlasureBy Kristin Glasure, FAIRHOPE President and CEO

Becoming a caregiver often happens by default by taking care of a loved one who needs more help than they used to. Whether you are helping your grandfather clean his house or your mother with daily care, you may not feel equipped for this new role. We understand this can be overwhelming and it is okay and normal to feel unprepared. In this article, we are going to help ease the transformation with some guidance in becoming an educated caregiver.

By becoming an educated caregiver, we do not mean you need to take courses to become a doctor or nurse. Simply, it is educating yourself and the caregiver team (which can be families, friends, neighbors, or anyone you trust) on the diagnoses and rehabilitation of your family member/s.

Here are our suggestions for becoming an educated caregiver:

  1. Go to your loved one’s doctor appointments to get familiar with the diagnosis and ask questions.
  2. Seek organizations or non-profits related to your loved one’s specific diagnosis for support and resources.
  3. Visit websites with available information, such as:
    1. Alzheimer Association Local
    2. Parkinson Disease
    3. Lewy Body
    4. The Association for Frontotemporal
  4. Visit the community resource finder tool at org to find local education programs, workshops and support groups that can help you learn caregiving techniques.
  5. If you feel it is necessary, take an online training course. There is a free online course through Coursera at org/learn/dementia-care.

There are several ways to become educated in caregiving. Our goal is to help you ease into this new role. Remember everyone learns differently and every situation is different. Stay tuned for our next blog on setting healthy boundaries and expectations.