Being a caregiver to a loved one is a momentous task that can be rewarding, but can easily begin to weigh on you. Those in caregiving positions must be mindful of their mental and physical health. The care you give to yourself is the care you give to your loved one.
Educate yourself on aging and any diseases your loved one might have. Learning what you can early on can help you prepare and plan for any additional help you might need or obstacles you’ll need to overcome. This might also involve taking a community class or attending a lecture on the disease you are caring for.
Utilize community resources:
- Day care programs
- Community support
- Meal-delivery programs
- Your local Area Agency on Aging
Find ways to take a break. Go see that movie you’ve been wanting to see, take a walk alone and stay connected with other friends and family.
Besides taking a break, make sure you find something that also can relax you! Take a long bath, enjoy a home-cooked meal, meditate/pray or get a massage.
Ask for and accept help when it’s offered! It does not mean that you are weak, but only that you need a rest and some extra support. Caregiving is a big task to do entirely alone.
Make sure to take care of your health. Get that flu shot, get enough rest and eat a healthy diet. Make the time for a yearly physical and don’t put off your own health concerns.
Know when you’ve reached your limit. Has caregiving become overwhelming? Do you need more help than the above can give you? Take a tour of our campus and see if independent living, assisted living, or skilled nursing care is right for your loved one. The peace of mind and extra help might be worth it!