After his stroke, your dad needs someone to help him throughout the day. When you’re a family caregiver, it’s not always easy. Watching your parent age and become less mobile or even frail is hard. Before you agree to be the primary family caregiver, see if you have the skills that heighten your success at providing care.
You need to effectively communicate with your dad, other family members, and your dad’s medical team. If you struggle with communication, it can be harder to ensure he gets the best possible care.
Keep track of things that happen in his life. If he fell after taking his blood thinner, take notes and ask his doctor for advice. If his doctors have an online portal, use that to communicate concerns or questions in between appointments.
If your dad needs one thing more than others, he needs someone who is compassionate. He’s probably scared and frustrated at the same time. He had a stroke, and he’s lost some of his independence. Your dad needs someone who can provide the kindness and love he needs at this time.
You need to be able to put yourself in his shoes, show him you care, and let him vent. He doesn’t want your pity. He wants your support and understanding.
Everything your dad does now requires extra time. Be patient and let him try. Don’t jump in to help him unless he asks for help. He may become angry with himself and snap at you in the process. Don’t take it personally.
Some of the things your dad will have a hard time doing after a stroke include feeding himself, buttoning his shirt or pants, and tying his shoes. He should work with an occupational therapist to learn new ways to do these. Try to be there for his therapy sessions so that you know how to assist him best.
Redirect him when needed to calm him down. If you can think of a way to make a task easier for him, explain how without taking over. Always let him lead and tell you when he wants help.
After his stroke, your dad has to rely on you. If you wake up and aren’t feeling like making the drive to his house, you’d leave him alone. You have to be trustworthy.
Show up on time, be there for as long as you said you’d be there, and keep promises. If you offer to take your dad to lunch, keep that promise. You can’t suddenly change your mind and back out of something he was looking forward to.
Know When to Ask for Help
Even with these essential traits, you may have a day where you need time to yourself. You have errands to run or a promise to keep to your kids or spouse. On those days, hire caregivers to help your dad.
Companion care at home places a caregiver with your dad for a full day, a few hours, or several days in a row. Talk to a home agency about his abilities and needs and schedule companion care at home today.