Family members can suffer great emotional and physical hardship due to the care of a loved one that is disabled or suffering from a disease. Fortunately, there are many things that a home caregiver can do to ensure the best care for their loved ones and also attend to their own needs. While care giving can be extremely rewarding, it can quickly take a toll on the well being of the caregiver. Here are six simple rules that can make life a bit easier.
Rule One: Take Care of Yourself
Caretakers should attend to their own health and wellness by eating well, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep. Tired, fatigued, or sick caretakers won’t be able to make good decisions or handle frustrating times.
Rule Two: Connect with Other Caregivers
Quite frequently caregivers feel alone. Connecting with others in the same situation will allow caretakers to share wisdom and strength, and will make them feel less isolated and lonely. Whether this is online or attending group meeting, this connection can be very helpful.
Rule Three: Educate Yourself
Knowledge is power! Knowing as much as possible about the condition of the one you are caring for and how it will affect their emotions, physical being, and behavior will help the caretaker prepare for the demand he or she will face.
Rule Four: Get Help.
Caregivers should enlist the help of other family members, if possible, so that they take breaks and enjoy regular down time. If regular family members or close friends are not able to fill in, respite care is another option.
Rule Five: Be an Advocate
The caregiver should speak out on the behalf of the one they care for and should also ask any necessary questions. The caretaker should also be prepared to help navigate legal and financial issues, as well as help make decisions regarding rehabilitative or nursing care.
Rule Six: Use Humor Daily
Now, I know it may not be often you hear the words humor in the same sentence with speaking with a disabled or ill diseased person, but it truly can make a difference. When you feel frustration coming on, due to some situation that has occurred, take a deep breath and make a humorous comment to ease the tension. Realize that your loved one can not help or understand what they may be doing so why not make the best of the situation.
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