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Caregivers: What You Need to Know

Being a caregiver is a rewarding experience, and it requires being able to take on a host of responsibilities. Some of these basic duties are tasks that the individual can no longer handle on their own and include items such as personal care, financial management and legal obligations. The following are some helpful tips to make your job easier.

Do Your Homework

If you are a new caregiver, you can begin by familiarizing yourself with the individual and the community that you are going to be working in. Some of these tasks will include personal care, shopping, travel, medication disbursement, meal preparation and financial duties. Getting to know your new charge is extremely important, and it can help make their specific needs and behaviors easier to understand. Ask questions that are centered around them and their likes, dislikes, family members and any illnesses.

Research their medications to learn about any common side effects and any new dangers or defects that have been reported. News and warnings about medications are quickly reported via the Internet to the general public. For example, by spending just a few minutes on-line you will learn that the FDA was investigating Pradaxa and Chantix for dangerous and deadly side effects. Our Pradaxa lawyer who is helping many people that were harmed by this drug, suggests that all caregivers create a drug alert for each medication. When you sign up for the drug alerts you will receive an email any time there are new developments.

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Understand the Duties Involved

Each caregiver should know the duties and tasks that they are responsible for in regards to the care-receiver. Make a list and write down any notes that are pertinent to doing your job right correctly. If you need to dispense medication at a certain time each day, write down the times, amounts and set an alarm to stay on task.

Know When to Assist

A caregiver should know when to assist and when to let the care-receiver handle the tasks that they are capable of tackling. If a person is limited in what they can do, the job of a caregiver is to provide services to make them as comfortable as possible.

However, you may also have to stand firm at times and get them to do tasks that they should be doing on their own. If a person is recovering from surgery, and they should be incorporating simple exercise into their daily regimen, you may want to push them toward retrieving the mail or getting up to change the T.V. channel.

Medication Disbursement

Keep a health diary for the patient with separate areas for physician visits, medications, side effects and any other pertinent information that is important to the individual’s care. An important task of a caregiver is administering medication in a timely manner. If an individual has numerous medications to take throughout the day, try to keep things organized to avoid complications or an accidental overdose.

Almost any pharmaceutical product has the potential for adverse reactions, and being able to recognize side effects is important. Fortunately, most reactions are not life threatening and a simple call to the physician is in order. However, if a person experiences a severe reaction such as shortness of breath, a drop in blood pressure, call for emergency assistance immediately.

Safe Environment

Providing a safe environment is an essential role to being a good caregiver. Make sure the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working condition, bath tubs and showers are equipped with non-skid mats, and walkways and hallways are obstruction free and properly lit. A phone or alarm monitoring system located in every room in the house can come in handy during emergency situations.

Good caregivers are some of the most kind and good-hearted people on the earth. Taking care of someone can be a challenging experience, but a trust worthy caregiver can provide professional and emotional care for those in need.

About the Author

Kelly Kovacic is a paralegal and a contributing writer for the Pradaxa lawyer team at Doyle Raizner LLP. Their team continues to help families who have been harmed by the anticoagulant Pradaxa. Experts analyzing Pradaxa have found that it has many serious side effects, some of which, can lead to heart attack, excessive bleeding and even death. As a good caregiver, you need to do everything possible to ensure the safety of those who are in your trust.

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