In honor of National Family Caregivers Month, we would like to reach out to those who do so much for the people they love, and offer a few helpful tips for relieving some of the pressures that come with being a caregiver.
One of the most important things a caregiver can do is remember that caregiving is a challenging task and that perfection is not necessary. Taking time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate is just as important as creating positive moments for your loved one. Make a list of tasks you need assistance with so that others know specifically what you are having trouble managing.
To assist with the caregiving process, we offer the following suggestions:
- Begin planning for a loved one’s care immediately when a diagnosis is given. Include community resources that will help with the efforts.
- Find a way to maintain regular exercise routines and to keep regular doctor’s appointments. If needed, ask someone you trust to stay with your loved one while you are away.
- Try not to skip meals, even if your loved one might not be interested in eating. Have a resource of small, healthy snacks for days when things are more challenging.
- Maintain pursuits that rejuvenate your spirit. This could mean actual worship such as prayer, or simply doing something that brings you back to center. If you have a preferred place of worship, do not isolate from it during this time. Also, remember that it is fine to accept help from fellow parishioners.
- Find ways to release the stress that often accumulates during caregiving. Try to find an oasis for yourself, even if it is your own bathtub two or three times a week! Utilize support groups to learn more about your loved one’s condition and to remind yourself that you are not alone in your quest.
- Keep other family members informed of the realities of your situation. Encourage distant family members to come and assist periodically, or seek area day or respite services to provide you with regular breaks.
- Understand that your loved one will not be able to perform certain tasks as well as they used to. Try not to be upset or agitated if something is not done perfectly.
- Take it one day at a time and allow yourself time to grieve.
Consider long-term care placement if things become too difficult to manage. Trilogy Health Services offers a full continuum of senior health and hospitality services at our campuses. To find a campus near you, visit our website.