Caring for Caregivers
If you are the family caregiver for an aging parent or loved one, you are an incredible person. You do so much for others; you spend so much of your time cooking, cleaning, and helping your loved one with all of the things they have to do during the day, never asking for anything in return. You are an inspiration to many people, and you are appreciated by the whole family.
But are you also stressed?
Many caregivers suffer from stress-induced disorders like anxiety and depression because, while they are taking wonderful care of their aging parent, they are not so great at taking care of themselves. As a caregiver, you might be devoting every ounce of your energy and effort to taking care of the people around you, but what about you? How do you feel?
You can’t help someone else unless you take care of yourself first. How much help do you think you will be to your mother if you are weak from not eating properly, or having panic attacks because you never take the time to relax and focus on your own mental health? Taking care of yourself is not only important for your own personal health, it is important for your loved one’s too.
Here are a few things that caregivers should do to make sure that they are taking care of themselves properly.
- Take time for yourself – Whether you take a few minutes a day to meditate, or you take half an hour to take a nice, warm soak in the tub every other night, make sure to set aside some time that is just for you. Take this time when your loved one is asleep or otherwise occupied, or you could even have your spouse or other family member take care of things for a while while you decompress. There is no shame in needing some alone time – we all do! Even just a few minutes could be enough to recharge your batteries and reinvigorate you.
- Don’t think you can do it all alone – We all already know that you are a superhero – you don’t have to prove it! Be sure that you have, not just a support system you can talk to about your struggles and successes as a caregiver, but also someone who can help you to take care of your loved one so that you can have a break sometimes.
- Have a life outside of caregiving – Caregiving is an all-consuming task, but don’t let it completely consume you! You should have hobbies and activities that you enjoy doing outside of caregiving, so that you can live a well-rounded life.
Care is just as important as it is for the caregiver as it is for the person they are caring for. You have to take care of yourself if you want to take care of someone else, so be sure to try some of the things listed above so that you can avoid feeling overwhelmed and overworked.
If you or an loved-one are considering hiring an in-home caregiver in Philadelphia, talk to Unlimited Staffing Solutions. Specializing in Home and Community Based Support Waiver Services Since 2001. Please Call Us for Your Home Care Needs (215) 447-7133