Being a family caregiver is definitely not the easiest job in the world. It takes a special person to be able to provide the amount of patience, love and time necessary for the role. It can be very rewarding. At the same time you may feel overwhelmed or alone. People new to caregiving can use all the help and guidance they can get, which is one of the main reasons for this blog.
As a newcomer to the world of caregiving, the first step you should take is to learn as much as you can about your loved one’s handicap or illness. Figuring out what their needs are and how to meet them will make this stage in both of your lives easier. The internet is a great resource, but you should also talk to doctors, other professionals, and other caregivers who can offer insight.
Know that you are not alone, no matter how much it may feel so. You do not need to carry all the weight of your family member’s care either. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Delegate tasks to others who want to help you. A good cook in the family can take a night to make lunch or dinner. The finance major could handle the bills. Someone else close to the patient could simply come and sit for companionship and supervision while you run errands. If other relatives are not an option, home care agencies are a wonderful source of assistance. One such Maine home health care option is MAS Home Care – we offer respite care.
By encouraging your loved one’s independence you will also help yourself. Why should you do the tasks for them that they are still capable of? Your family member will also appreciate being treated as a competent individual who still has value in the home. Even small tasks can be important.
It is also important that you know your limits physically and emotionally. Caregiving can be very draining, but if you set limits and are aware when you are reaching them you will keep yourself in good spirits and healthy. An overworked, sick caregiver is not much of a help. Take time for yourself every now and then to do the hobbies you enjoy. Have dinner with a friend or catch the latest movie on the big screen. This may be a good time to call in home care professionals.
Related article: Avoid Caregiver Burnout
In no time you will be well on your way to being confident in your new role. Just remember to do your research, let others help you, and take a little time for yourself so you don’t burn out.
MAS Home Care provides respite care in Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.