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For caregivers of people living wet macular degeneration, while the care of their loved ones is rewarding, it can also be challenging at times. Caregivers are rewarded with the intrinsic value of supporting those they love as they manage the condition; however, this support can strain a caregiver. Often, this strain feels worth it – but like all things, too much can be overwhelming.
If you feel overwhelmed, it is important to remind yourself of your needs, and what you can do to take care of yourself. And if a break is needed, it is key to get outside help so the support for the one you care for continues.
Friends & family
Explore which friends and family may be able to help or step in for you. If there are complicated responsibilities to mind (such as critical steps to the care plan or monitoring for adverse events), communicating these in advance will help the person better prepare for caregiving, and will allow you to actually take time off instead of being “on call.”
Transportation & care networks
Search for local eldercare transportation and care networks who can assist. Medical cars are a great option and are often very affordable. This offers your loved one the choice to travel with a trained medical professional who can support them to and from treatment.
Home health assistant
If your loved one has a home health aide and their own car, ask the aide to escort them to treatment. Often, this person will be up to date on additional health conditions and challenges that your loved one may be managing and can help share relevant updates with the doctor once at the appointment.
Government programs & local nonprofit organizations
Should you not be able to transport your loved one to doctors appointments, research local government programs or nonprofit organizations that could be of help. Many local groups offer options for transportation to appointments at a very low cost.
If you do not live conveniently near your loved one, or are not able to see them in-person, consider a virtual, online support program. Virtual programs can help wet macular degeneration patients and their caregivers stay up to date on their health information, upcoming and past appointments, and treatment regimens, and do not require face-to-face interactions.
As you continue caring for someone with wet macular degeneration, take note of when you feel burnt out so that you can look for outside support. And remember that your own care is critical so that you can support your loved one to the best of your ability. For suggestions on how to care for yourself as a caregiver, click here.