Being a caregiver to a family member in need can be stressful, lonely, and emotionally draining. It's very important if you are in that primary role to take good care of yourself in the process of caring for your ailing family member. Here are some tips for managing the role of caregiver:
1. You will likely feel a range of emotions throughout the time you are providing care. It's important to accept them and not beat yourself up over feelings of fear or resentment. Those feelings don't make you a bad person or mean that you don't love your family member, they simply make you human. Be gentle with yourself.
2. You won't be able to do it all. That's ok. Enlist the help of other family members, friends, and health professionals. Be clear about the needs of the person you are caring for by making a list. Often we can be pleasantly surprised by people's willingness to help, we simply need to ask.
3. Carve out time for yourself to relax, destress, and stay engaged in your social life. Exercise, stay in close touch with your friends, eat well and get plenty of sleep. It's also important to take breaks from your caregiving role to help maintain balance in your life.
4. Avail yourself of community services. It may come as a surprise, but community services are ready to help with transportation, support, and, like Pacific Medical Supply Salem, delivery of home care necessities. Call the local senior center in your area, the local Veteran's Administration, and search the web for specific services you may need to connect to. One that we recommend: Family Caregiver Alliance. The site is serachable by state, and you can find resources both for family member and yourself.
It's ok to include yourself on the long list of things that need to be taken care of.