Provide the best care possible for your loved one – while also caring for yourself.
Taking on the care of a sick family member is a generous act of love, but over time many caregivers find themselves struggling with stress and burnout. In order to care for a loved one, you first need to care for yourself. Protect yourself from common pitfalls with these tips.
- Accept outside help. You can't do all of it alone. When others offer assistance, say yes! Then provide specific ideas of how they can lend a helping hand.
- Schedule time for yourself. You need time to relax and let go of your worries and responsibilities. If you don't make the time, you may never find it.
- Look for signs of depression or anxiety. If you notice a lack of energy, motivation, or a constant tightness in your chest or stomach, you may be near your breaking point. Seek out professional help if needed.
- Encourage independence. When possible, allow your loved one to do things for herself/himself. It will give them a sense of purpose and accomplishment, and allow you more freedom in your day.
- Become a diligent student of your loved one's condition. Confidence in your own knowledge will cut back on many needless worries, and you'll find it's easier to communicate with doctors and specialists.
Caregivers often need trustworthy resources that provide information at all hours of the day and night. Make your first stop our online health library. If you have more questions or would like a physician referral, our free Consult-a-Nurse® service is available 24/7. Give us a call at 1-866-442-2362.