Debilitating diseases do not just take a toll on the patients who have been diagnosed. They also affect those who are around to provide care for them. For instance, seeing a family member suffer with Alzheimer’s disease, slowly losing cognitive abilities, and locomotive functions, can be emotionally, mentally and physically draining for the caregiver.
Watching over a deteriorating patient all day, every day is difficult. Family members and 24-hour home care services, like CareBuildersAtHomeMN.com, are tasked to make sure the patients have someone at their beck and call. This may get overwhelming. While the patients need utmost care, caregivers should also know how to take care of themselves. Here are some ways to do that.
Reputable caregiver reference materials cite the importance of keeping caregivers healthy. Proper diet, exercise, and time of sleep should not be neglected no matter how demanding the task may be. Taking turns caring for elderly patients and relatives allows time to keep one’s health in check.
Have Days Off Once in a While to De-stress
Caregiver stress is caused by an overwhelming sense of responsibility. Every so often, caregivers need a break from the job as well.
Never Think That Attending to Your Own Needs is Selfish
Other engagements also need time and attention. Family members may have jobs and other things to attend to. Professional caregivers may have other shifts or personal matters to attend to as well. Caregivers also have lives outside of caregiving. As much as possible, the needs of the patient or loved one is prioritized. But, if the caregivers cannot be around to take care of them, someone else who is just as capable needs to take over.
Be Friends With the Patient
The patients may be difficult to be around. Sometimes, they throw tantrums and are not easy to pacify. Patience in dealing with the patient is key to having a good relationship with them. Once a rapport is established, the situation gets better, as the caregiver and patient are able to cooperate. Thoughtful gestures are instant mood-lifters even for the grumpiest patients. The caregiver also makes a friend by treating the patient with affection.
Love One’s Self
Caregivers are caregivers because they care. But, they should also recognize that they need to receive care as much as they give it. That’s how they get themselves to care for others.