According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a caregiver is, “a person who provides direct care (as for children, elderly people, or the chronically ill)”, and caregivers aren’t just paid, caretakers. Many caretakers can be loved ones and caring for a loved one can be stressful. It can wear on one’s mental, emotional, and physical wellness. Caring for someone can be short term during surgery recovery or long term when facing the challenge of an illness or disability.
No matter the specifics of the needed care or regardless of the length of time you are the caregiver, you will need help at times. Caregiving can impact one’s mental and emotional health. According to caregiver.org, “Caregivers show higher levels of depression”, and, “Caregivers suffer from high levels of stress and frustration”. In regard to a caregiver’s physical health, caregiver.org believes, “Caregivers are in worse health”, and, “have an increased risk of heart disease”. Caregiver.org also says, “Caregivers pay the ultimate price for providing care — increased mortality”. Now, none of that is good for anyone and it takes strength to ask for help, but you can’t take care of someone else if you don’t take care of yourself first. You need to know your limits.
Here are 10 tips that can help your caregiving duties be a little easier and help you live your best life, all while helping your loved one do the same.
- Ask for help: This often is the most difficult first step, but most important.
– Often you don’t have the trained skill set to care for someone completely
– Allowing someone else to help, like Affinity, allows you to recharge. Allow a trained professional to take on larger tasks and allows you to more freely enjoy your time with your loved one.
- Delegate responsibilities
– Tap into support teams and utilize their strengths: is a family member great at finances? Is someone able to prep a few meals a week? Affinity can direct you and help fill in the gaps for every aspect of home care.
- Be prepared for emotions
– Your loved one, and you as the caregiver, may have an emotional ride. It’s very common to feel loneliness, anger, sadness, depression or anxiety.
– Be open to speaking to a friend, family member, pastor… or a professional. Consider having your loved one also speak to someone. Affinity has a medical social worker that can help. It’s good to “get it out”.
– There will also be many times of laughter, love, and happiness!
- Forgiveness: Forgive your days of frustration and stress. Each day is a fresh start. Forgive any short tempers or harsh words. It can be a difficult time.
- Review insurance options: Is there long term care insurance? Is your loved one a veteran?
- Communication: Keep clear lines of communication to lessen mistakes. Affinity can help with medication, doctor appts and orders, meals and special needs.
- Utilize resources like Affinity Home Care: We can help you navigate options and the process of caring for a loved one, so you can love the time you have with them.
- Be organized: Schedule time for yourself to unplug, exercise or meditation. Also schedule your time with your loved one, so you make the most of your time.
- Support groups: Check into community support groups or even online support groups.
- Call Affinity Home Care at (248) 363-8650 to fill in daily or weekly to assist you where you need it so you can be your best self to help others.
For more information or ways, Affinity Home Health Care Agency can help, visit our website www.affinityhomecareagency.com. Call us (248) 363-8650, or email your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help. It is our duty and mission.