You're in the driver's seat
Quite literally. Whether routinely taking your loved one to physical therapy, for blood work, or just to visit a friend, you have become an indispensable part of their life. Their mobility is dependent on you, and fulfilling this is a critical aspect of the caretaker role.
You feel guilty taking a vacation
This one is less of a “what you do” rather than “what you feel like you can’t do.” When you are responsible for someone’s care on a regular basis, taking a vacation feels like a logistical impossibility. In fact, for many, it feels like an unnecessary indulgence. Of course, the contrary is true, and taking time for yourself and giving yourself some headspace is a necessity for any caregiver. Nonetheless, we often push our own needs aside.
You are their emotional support
Falling seriously ill can be terrifying. There is a world of uncertainty about the future and a grieving process for the past. Not to mention, the pain that accompanies so much illness. We all need a shoulder to cry on, a person to talk to about our fears, and someone to help us through it all emotionally. If that person is you for your loved one, it’s another indicator of your caretaker role.
You have become their medical watchdog
The number of different medications someone takes when they are really sick can be mind-boggling. Keeping up with their schedule and refills? Even more so. From building spreadsheets that track it all, to posting sticky note reminders all over your house, to trying to find the best pill dispenser, it’s a time-consuming (and serious) aspect of every caregiver’s life. Products like Hero are changing the game for many people, automating the process while keeping everyone connected on their app.
They've moved in with you
Probably one of the most obvious signs! Whether your loved one is simply not capable of taking care of themselves on their own, or you just prefer to have them close because you feel you can take better care of them, having them move in to your home closes the deal on your official caregiver status.