“There’s no place like home”.
As we age, the majority of us would like to stay at home, surrounded by the comforts we’re familiar with for as long as our health allows us to do so. Individuals with certain challenges can still remain in their homes while depending on some outside help. Yet, as a senior Caregiver, how do you make sure that you get the rest and attention you need as well?
In this article, we cover what roll a Caregiver plays in the elderly’s day-to-day lives. In addition, we have some top tips on how to care for yourself as a Caregiver.
Let’s get started!
Who is a Caregiver? And, what do Caregivers do?
In recent years, Caregivers have replaced the more traditional, medically assisted home care roles. As such, Caregivers have a very unique and important role. Whether you are caring for a disabled child, a sick family member, or possibly an aging individual, you’re job is vital. As a Caregiver, you must fully recognize your role so that you can receive the support that is available to you.
While some consider being a caregiver very rewarding, sometimes the greatest reward is simply understanding your patients better, including what makes them happy and how you can give them more enjoyable days.
It is important to understand that if a change of emotions or attitude comes when you are with a patient, it is totally normal. Everyone has feelings of frustration or anger at times, and working as someone’s Caregiver is no exception. These emotions can surface at any time, thus it is essential to know how to cope with them.
At times, Caregivers may find themselves feeling lonely or isolated, due to the lack of formal schooling within the trade. Here are a few tips on how to better care for yourself as a Caregiver.
Top Tips for Caregivers to Better Care for Themselves
The National Institute on Aging provided ways for Caregivers to cope with the stress incurred when caring for a loved one or a patient with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Here are a few of their most helpful suggestions:
When offered, always take help.
When someone offers to help you, go ahead and take the help. Create a list of things that you’d find helpful, and allow the person to choose some items from that list to do. Anything from going on a walk with the patient to helping prepare a meal, you deserve the help.
Do not dwell on feelings of guilt.
As a Caregiver, feelings of guilt are completely normal. However, you do not want to dwell on these negative emotions. Try and keep them in check, and switch your focus on what you can do to help or make something more enjoyable for your patient.
Both social media outlets and focus groups are offered to Caregivers for support. The people within these groups understand the challenges of being a Caregiver, and may be able to help with supportive ideas. They could also provide you with clever ideas when it comes to transportation and running errands with your patients.
Keep your health on track.
Your health matters, too. Do your best to eat healthy foods, drink enough water to stay hydrated, and get some moderate exercise in.
Rest is key.
Adequate sleep is absolutely critical for good health. The three biggest reasons for poor health among Caretakers are stress, insufficient sleep, and not enough exercise. You will be able to perform your Caregiving duties much better if you are taking the measures needed to get the rest your body requires.
Being a Caregiver is one of the most rewarding and satisfying jobs out there. However, you must take care of yourself too, in order to better care for your patients or loved ones.
Keep a schedule of self-care items for you, and do your best to stick to it.
There are so many resources out there to help Caregivers specifically. If you are feeling isolated or frustrated with your job, find and take advantage of these resources! That’s what they’re here for, you!