Caregivers Support is Crucial for the Job
Many people have turned into caregivers in a blink of an eye and have had to face responsibilities they never thought they would have to deal with. Being un-familiarized and intimidated by the job, a caregiver might feel overwhelmed and lonely. Despite all the trials that come with being a caregiver, nothing beats how truly rewarding this difficult task is. Nowadays, there are many things a caregiver can do and places to turn to for support, tips, understanding, important information and more to ease the stress and live a happy life.
Caring for a loved one is an act of love, kindness, and loyalty. As time goes by and medical technology advances the life expectancy in human beings is extended. Parallel to this fact, we have more people living with chronic conditions and disabilities resulting in the caregiver population growing exponentially over the next few years.
Turning into a caregiver does not necessarily have to happen when the person you care for gets to their elderly years. It can happen at any moment in your life. You might see yourself caring for a handicapped spouse or a child with physical or mental limitations. However, despite the differences, there is one thing in common: It is a challenge!
Most family caregivers begin their duties as one without knowing anything about how to care for a person with special needs. Almost no one is trained for something like this. If you are new to care giving, the first thing you need to know is that you do not have to have previous training to be the best caregiver. Discount Medical Supplies is committed to assisting and guiding all caregivers on how to care for their loved one.
Are you a new family caregiver?
There are 5 very important initial aspects that you have to consider and understand from the beginning and by doing so, you will get accommodated more easily with the new tasks at hand.
1. Learn all you can about the condition your loved one is in. Understand why he or she is suffering from the illness, what it implies, what complications may come about, etc. Fully understanding the the situation is will allow you to have more security and feel less anxious about being a caregiver for that person.
2. Talk to other caregivers to to learn from their experience and to know what they went through. Knowing that you are not alone is very comforting especially if you have the support from other friends that know what stages you will go through as a caregiver.
3. Your instincts are important! Do not ignore them. As the caregiver, you will know your loved one well enough to know something requires extra attention. You can never ignore doctors' recommendations however listening to your gut is important as well.
4. Being a caregiver does not mean you will do everything for your loved one. Depending on their condition, you can be there to encourage them to do things on their own. Be a strong pillar to allow your loved one to lean on you and your knowledge to gain some sort of independence.
5. Do not play Superman. You need to be well aware of your limits and be realistic about the time and energy you have to do the job well. Set the limits from the beginning and communicate those limits to family members and doctors.
Other Tips for Family Caregivers
Accepting your feelings as they come and understanding why you are feeling like that will only make you a better caregiver. You will experience good things and bad things. Sometimes you will feel angry and at other times fearful. You may also feel helpless, guilty, resentful, and sad. All these feelings will only remind you that you are human. As a human you will need to deal with all that you are feeling and express them to someone you confide in. Keeping your emotions bottled up will only turn you into a time bomb.
Do not attempt to do everything on your own. This goes hand in hand with the limits that you have to make clear since the beginning. Asking for help from other family members is good. If you overwhelm yourself with trying to do everything on your own, you will burn out so quickly and this will even compromise the good care that you are trying to provide. Keep in mind the capabilities and the time not only of yourself but also of the person you are asking help from.
A renowned musician once said, “The capacity to care is the thing that gives life its deepest significance and meaning.” As long as you pay attention to your needs and tend to them, you will always have that capacity to keep caring for someone. Caregivers also need to be cared for. To tend to your emotional needs as a caregiver make sure you:
1. Have time to relax daily.
2. Keep a journal on how you are feeling.
3. Talk about how you feel to someone you confide in
4. Keep your spirit alive and happy by meditating, praying or any other activity.
5. Attack any signs of depression or anxiety and get the assistance you need to do this.
6. Stay social!! Do not isolate yourself. Do not stop doing what you like.
7. Laugh as much as you can to be able to face trials and stress easily.
8. Take breaks when caring for your loved one and even an extended break every week.
9. Exercise daily at least for 30 minutes.
10. Eat right as you need to be well nourished for the job.
11. Stay away from alcohol and drugs.
12. Get enough sleep
13. Overall, stay healthy! Your loved one is counting on you and needs you to be healthy.