I have been a caregiver for many different families and its true every day you learn something new. Not only from the person your caring for but you learn so much about yourself and all the patience you have in your little finger. Challenges arise every day and if you don’t have great problem-solving skills this gig might be little tough for you.
Whether your a loved one or work as a medical worker some days it can be filled with frustration and exhausting. The positive it can also be so rewarding and a joyful time in your life. There is nothing like the feeling when you can help others especially the elderly. Making someone’s life a lot easier in there last years or just to make someone’s life a little easier is the true meaning of love and compassion.
Here are the top 10 secrets from caregivers that know how to keep it together while caring for loved ones.
1- Compassion– The caregiver is not just someone who is skilled. More importantly, has all the attributes of someone with compassion. Respect, honesty, integrity, sensitivity, and wisdom. If they trust you they are more likely to tell you if they have health issues.
2- Let medical professionals know you are the caregiver
3- Don’t ever turn down help. One word: Burnout! Relax and find time for you. As much as possible.
4- Stick with routine – nothing gets a person your caring for more stressed out than change especially if they already have anxiety. Just remember as we get older change seems harder to accept. So do your best to keep to a schedule. If there is a change remind them several times and days in advance if you are able.
5- Being a caregiver for an adult is nothing like caring for a child. Their loss of independence is a very hard pill to swallow. Slow down with your elders, be patient with them and just enjoy them.
6- Caregiving can be isolating. Someday’s you may feel like a prisoner if you don’t have family or friends available to help you.
7- If you find yourself in a caregiver role, take the time you need to join a support group and keep your spiritual life going.
8- Make sure you have an emergency fund because if you are working and are need to be a caregiver to a parent, child or friend you may need a backup plan. There are not many more things as stressful as worrying about money.
9- Take advantage of respite if your family qualifies for those services. Not only will it benefit you, but it will benefit the person with dementia too.
10- Take short breaks when you can. Chances are your sleep deprived when your caring for someone you pretty much are sleeping with one eye open listening for them getting up or possibly wandering around the house. Depending on how mobile they are you may need to get up with them to ensure they don’t fall.
I hope this helps you out in your caregiving journey. Bless you, for having such a compassionate heart and comment below for your input and stories.
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