Being a caregiver for an older family member offers many rewards. However, the task also presents a unique set of challenges. Many experienced caregivers recommend keeping a journal. A caregiver’s journal serves different purposes and provides a variety of benefits.
1. Relieve Stress
Caregivers easily get caught up in their day-to-day responsibilities and may become impatient, short-tempered, and depressed, which are some of the symptoms of caregiver burnout. Writing regularly in a journal gives caregivers a means of expressing themselves without acting out. Many find that simply writing their feelings and thoughts concerning the day’s events provides a sense of release and ultimate calmness.
Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Omaha families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.
2. Identify Cause and Effect
By daily chronicling your loved one’s behaviors, habits, and symptoms, you may begin to find patterns, which could lead to solutions. You may learn that certain situations or triggers lead to specific behaviors or actions. For example, your loved one might experience the same symptoms during the same time of day, and you might notice the symptoms coincide with one of his or her medications.
3. Gain a Fresh Perspective
By regularly writing down experiences, feelings, and thoughts related to caregiving, you may begin to learn more about yourself. Along with daily writing, a journal enables you to look back at previous entries. While reviewing past writings, you might realize certain situations could have been handled more appropriately or in a different, more productive manner. This way, the journal enhances your caregiving skills.
4. Track Important Information
Consider using the journal to monitor various aspects of your loved one’s health. Daily entries may include pulse and blood pressure readings along with weekly weight checks. Any drastic changes might warrant a medical consult or medication adjustment. If your loved one’s weight changes dramatically over a short time, evaluate his or her diet or check for other possible reasons. The journal might also include the start of new medications or treatments and follow-up progress notes.
Providing care to a loved one while managing personal responsibilities can be difficult.
Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Omaha senior care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
5. Assist the Medical Team
All of the important information you enter pertaining to your loved one may prove invaluable in helping physicians and other members of the healthcare team determine the best course of treatment. By sharing entries concerning diet, sleep habits, vital signs, and medications, healthcare providers are better able to see where changes may be needed. Prior to the appointment, make notes pertaining to questions you have about symptoms, new medical interventions, or other health-related topics. During the appointment, you can also use the journal to take notes on the information relayed to you.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Omaha Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To learn more about our professionally trained caregivers, give us a call at (402) 249-0204 today.