To be an effective caregiver, you must first care for yourself. If you reduce your burdens and keep a healthy balance for yourself, you will be in a better position to care for your loved one.
In addition to respite care for those much needed breaks, join a caregiver support group in your area to be able to share your thoughts, feelings and information with others in similar circumstances. Explore community resources such as adult daycare centers, in-home respite care and meal delivery services. This will provide free time for errands and personal time as well as providing health monitoring, transportation, nursing care and therapeutic recreation for the care recipient.
Tips to Reduce Caregiver Burn-Out
• Don't take it personally. Remind yourself that any emotionally hurtful behavior on the part of your loved one is a result of illness.
• Take time out to do fun things like taking an exercise class or going on day trips every now and then.
• If friends can't come over, and it is impossible to leave the care situation, take time each day for a phone conversation with a friend or family member. Even a brief chat can lift spirits.
• Set limits for yourself. Let your loved one know what you are capable of giving in terms of time and assistance. You don't need to be confrontational. Simply ask for what you need in ways that honor yourself and others. Use ‘I' statements.
• Engage in hobbies or favorite pastimes.
• Quiet your mind through soothing music, prayer, meditation or relaxation.
• Focus on finding one activity a day that brings enjoyment to you. Respite does not have to mean leaving home; it can be taking a momentary break to do something positive.
• Eat nutritious meals. Don't give in to stress-driven urges for sweets or drink too much alcohol.
• Get enough sleep. If kept up at night, try a nap during the day to make up some sleep.
• Listen and communicate carefully with doctors, seek second opinions and monitor medication schedules.
• A missed medication or incorrect diagnosis can wreak havoc on stress levels. Be a constant advocate for your loved one.
Live Free Home Health Care of Concord, New Hampshire is here to offer further guidance and options that can give you a well-deserved break. If you're looking for a partner in home care in the Lakes Region or Central New Hampshire, contact us today at 603-217-0149, and let us help make your life a little easier.