Maintaining Balance as a Caregiver

Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Blog, Motivation

 

WebCaregivers are often so selfless in their care of a loved one that they neglect to take care of themselves. It is important to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Taking time off for yourself is not selfish and can help you improve your capacity to care for others.  

Let others know what your needs are and make time to do the things that are important to you personally.

Caregivers do an amazing work in caring for their loved ones. Recognize the important and good job you are doing and realize how valuable you are.
Get as much information about caregiving as you can. The more you know, the better prepared you will be in providing care and support. Ask friends and relatives to help gather information and resources. Knowledge is empowering and can help you better cope with stress.
Recognize the limits of your own endurance and strength and help your loved one accept care from others. Have a “wish list” available when people ask what they can do to help you. Most people want to help, but do not know what to do. Accept help when it is offered.
Depression can strike anyone and caregivers are especially vulnerable – it is the most common healthcare condition reported by family caregivers. Be aware of the early signs of depression.
Caregivers can strengthen their coping and stress management skills by communicating their feelings and needs, setting limits and making decisions to do things for themselves. Identify one or two people with whom you can speak freely about your needs and feelings. Professional counseling can be very beneficial for caregivers who are trying to not lose their own sense of self in the role as caregiver. It is appropriate to set limits and expectations with your loved one, family and friends. Physical exercise, creative activities, humor and social/family events are effective strategies for countering caregiver stress.
Knowledge is empowering. Get as much information about caregiving as you can. The more you know, the better prepared you will be in proving care and support. Ask friends and relatives to help gather information and resources. Become an advocate for your loved one and for yourself.

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