When you are suddenly thrown into being the primary carer for somebody that you love when that person becomes ill, it can be difficult to see how you will even get through the day. Here's 10 tips to help you.

Carer pushing an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair

When you are suddenly thrown into being the primary carer for somebody that you love when that person becomes ill, it can be difficult to see how you will even get through the day.

Graham Walne was in this position when his wife suddenly suffered a stroke and he became her principal carer. He decided to write down the advice that he would give others in his situation, not about medical matters but more a survival guide for getting through each day (for both carer and patient). He brings his top 10 tips that he learned during this period:

  1. Emotional strength weakens faster than physical strength and is harder to recharge 
  2. You might need a new philosophy for the new part of your life
  3. Make sure you have a wide range of suppliers; you can’t afford to run out of critical items
  4. Look for delivery options for items as there may be times you can’t leave the house
  5. Don’t forget about eating and keeping yourself and your patient/loved one fed, even if it through services like Meals on Wheels, frozen package meals services, food delivery services
  6. Filling out forms takes time and one where you need a clear head. Dedicate time to these and if you are struggling, don’t feel like you have to complete the form all at once.
  7. To make sure that you are on top on scheduling medication, there are packs designed to help like the Webster-pak (a sealed weekly calendar pack designed to help people to take their medication correctly)
  8. When you are assisting your patient/loved one, explain to them what you are doing like moving them, getting them dressed or giving them medication to avoid confusion or alarm. They may not be able to feel or see your actions
  9. Keep a diary
  10. Only have essential furniture and items in your bedroom – it makes things easier

Graham can be contacted on 08 9383 1243 or contact IDEAS on 1800 029 904 if you are struggling caring for your loved one, or just need more information about options available to you.