The Reef – 3 Ways to be a More Effective Male Caregiver
Hello and welcome. Caregiving can be a tiresome role, demanding a lot of your mental, physical, and emotional energy. Many people have not had the previous experience of being a caregiver, so you are often left confused about what you can do. This whole experience can result in what’s called “caregiver burnout.” To avoid this, you must find ways that can help make your job easier so you have more energy throughout your day and resources at your disposal.
1) Utilize technology: Fortunately, there are a lot of tech devices you can rely on that help you tremendously during emergency situations. For instance, you can use a GPS monitoring device if your loved one is prone to wondering. There are also personal emergency response systems (PERS) which involve your loved one pushing a button under emergency situations if there is no one else around. A PERS will notify a call center that can send somebody to respond to your loved one. Applications for tablets and smartphones also exist that can help you keep track of your caregiving duties and that can also provide reminders to take medications.
2) Join a caregiver support group: Support groups are weekly or bi-weekly meetings that consist of fellow family caregivers and an experienced group leader. Meetings typically allow you to share your personal experiences and difficulties (if you are comfortable sharing, that is) while receiving advice from fellow caregivers or the group leader. These groups can be uncomfortable at first since it can mean talking about tough topics, but ultimately it is intended to relieve you from holding in your thoughts and providing you a safe outlet to meet with others who know what you are experiencing.
3) Take care of yourself: If you are unhealthy and exhausted, then you will not have enough energy to be an attentive caregiver. If you are able, try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. And if you have time, try to exercise at least three times per week. Although these activities mean you have to take more time out of your day, you will eventually become more energized to tackle your responsibilities. Exercise and sleep will help with your concentration, mental health, and overall physical health. When you take care of yourself, you will be better able to take care of others.
Being a caregiver is demanding. So we hope that these tips will help make your role easier, even if it means doing some temporary life management. Do not be discouraged if you feel that you cannot make it to support group sometimes or if you cannot exercise one day. Caregiving is a journey and there are plenty of opportunities to try again if some things do not work the first time.