Choosing a Caregiver

How to decide who should be your main support while living with wet AMD

One of the most important decisions following a wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) diagnosis is choosing someone to be your primary caregiver. A caregiver can mean something different for each person – you may just want someone you can depend on for transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, or you may need consistent daily or weekly support in more parts of your life. If you or your potential caregiver need more details on the responsibilities they could have, click here.

For some people there’s a clear choice of caregiver; however, others may have a more difficult time with this decision. For example, you may have to make a choice between your adult children or two close friends.

Here are some factors to consider that may help you decide who is best suited to take on these caregiving responsibilities:
Who lives closest to you?
Caregivers will typically spend a large portion of time at your home and transporting you to and from appointments. It’s best to choose someone who doesn’t have to travel far to you. It’s more convenient for them, and they can reach your home faster in case of an emergency.

Who has the most flexible schedule/free time?
Caregiving might take up a significant amount of time, so it makes sense to choose a caregiver with more free time and flexibility. It’s important to try to choose a caregiver with a flexible work schedule or if possible, someone who isn’t employed.

Do they have their own health conditions to manage?
It may be best to avoid assigning a caregiving role to someone who has a full plate with their own chronic conditions. These individuals may not have the strength, ability or time to care for someone else. If you aren’t sure, it may help to have a candid discussion with this person to learn more and ensure that they are up to the task.

Do they care for another person already?
Caregiving is a big responsibility and can take up a lot of time and energy. If a loved one already cares for someone else with a chronic condition or has young children to care for, think carefully before asking them to take on another caregiving role.

Who do you feel most comfortable with?
While weighing the other factors listed above, feeling comfortable with your caregiver may be one of the most important factors in your decision. After all, you will be sharing a lot of personal information and spending long periods of time with this person. Make sure to take your own needs and comfort level into account when searching for a primary caregiver.

Remember that offers of help are always a good thing, and your primary caregiver may not always be available. You may want to ask one or more people to be a backup for you when your caregiver isn’t available.

Also, while the above questions are helpful in deciding on a caregiver, every situation is different. There may be other factors in play that affect your choice. Make sure to discuss all your questions and concerns with your potential caregiver(s) before making this important decision.

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