As a family caregiver, you may find yourself facing a host of new responsibilities, many of which are unfamiliar or intimidating. At times, you may feel overwhelmed and alone. But despite its challenges, care giving can also be rewarding. And there are a lot of things you can do to make the care giving process easier for both you and your loved one. These tips can help you get the support you need while caring for someone you love.
If you’re like most family caregivers, you aren’t trained for the responsibilities you now face. And you probably never anticipated you’d be in this situation. You may not even live very close to your loved one. At the same time, you love your family member and want to provide the best care you can. The good news is that you don’t have to be a nursing expert, a superhero, or a saint in order to be a good caregiver. With the right help and support, you can be a good caregiver without having to sacrifice yourself in the process.
Here are a few tips:
1. Learn as much as you can about your family member’s illness and about how to be a caregiver. The more you know, the less anxiety you’ll feel about your new role and the more effective you’ll be.
2. Seek out other caregivers. It helps to know you’re not alone. It’s comforting to give and receive support from others who understand what you’re going through.
3. Trust your instincts. Remember, you know your family member best. Don’t ignore what doctors and specialists tell you, but listen to your gut, too.
4. Encourage your loved one’s independence. Care giving does not mean doing everything for your loved one. Be open to technologies and strategies that allow your family member to be as independent as possible.
5. Know your limits. Be realistic about how much of your time and yourself you can give. Set clear limits, and communicate those limits to doctors, family members, and other people involved.
A wise man once said, “The capacity to care is the thing that gives life its deepest significance and meaning.” It’s essential that you receive the support you need, so you don’t lose that capacity. While you’re caring for your loved one, don’t forget about your own needs. Caregivers need care, too.
For more information on this topic, please call us now at (561) 588-4545. Thanks for watching today’s Therapeutic Thursday and we’ll see you again next month!