Caregiving is not a burden if you see it with eyes of love
If you get the chance to observe a caregiver, make sure you do. Everything they do on a daily basis for their loved one without asking for anything in return is the work of a true hero. Some of us get to experience first-hand how the health and the happiness of the caregivers in our family decline as the years go by, and at some point in life, we might end up being caregivers for them and will have to give them the care and attention they provided to others for years. When the time comes, always remember the #1 advice I am about to give you. I rather call it the golden rule of caregiving, and it is one that must never be broken or overlooked. The rule goes: You will not see caregiving as a burden, but an opportunity to be better and give back.
Estimates from the National Alliance for Caregiving, show that approximately 65.7 million Americans served as caregivers in 2013. This means that 29% of the adult US population have been donating their time and caring for someone who is disabled or aged. This same research shows that about 3/4 of caregivers are 50 years old or more and have jobs of their own that they have to juggle with their caregiving duties. They are constantly changing and shifting their schedules, leaving home early, coming in later and even choosing to retire early. Always consider that this might be you one day.
It is very hard to have a job and be a caregiver at the same time. This combo is notorious for affecting the caregiver's general health. The stress at home intensifies and at work, productivity is not as high as it should be. Due to these facts and numbers, caregiving should be taken in a different way and addressed in a new, refreshed, and effective approach and that is where my golden rule comes into play. I can assure you it will help you through the tough times and will make you a better caregiver and person.
Change your thoughts towards caregiving.
Always remember the words of by Siddhartha Gautama better known as Buddha: "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."
Although it is tiring and time consuming, caregiving does not have to be a negative scene. It is an opportunity to give back, to learn how to care for someone, to be a better person, to create a bond with the person you are caring for especially if that person was there for you in the past. It is indeed an opportunity and not a burden as you will be growing in a positive way by living the experience. Always remember that you and your care-receiver must:
a) Have a purpose
b) Keep an active life
c) Laugh on a daily basis
d) Learn something new
e) Relate with friends
f) Be grateful for everything
Yes, there will be times when you feel that nothing will bring your anxiety and stress levels down. Of course, it will happen, as you are only human. However, being human also allows you to be sensible towards that situation you are going through. Being human allows you to care, allow you to love, and allow you to be the best caregiver possible. So when moments like that take the best of you, take a walk, go out, ask someone to watch for your loved one for a few hours. Take the time to re-group, relax and start over.