Lifestyle

5 Tips To Survive As a Family Caregiver

The Beatles song “I get by with a little help from my friends” is extremely fitting for when you rely on friends and family to carry you through the worst of times on your caregiving journey. Family caregiving can be intensive, emotionally draining and loaded with responsibilities but you can have no complaints because you volunteered for it. Yes, it can be very fulfilling and rewarding to help your loved one but it can also be extremely stressful. To prevent being at risk of depression or drug abuse because you can’t quit or retire, read ahead for some tips to survive as a family caregiver.

  1. Keep calm

You may feel anxiety, anger, exhaustion and all those frustrating emotions if you’re not on guard. Your loved one’s illness or disability may have struck you like a bolt from the blue. Getting your life back on an even keel may seem difficult at first but you must persevere with the caregiving and keep calm. Try to start meditating or doing yoga in the morning for maximum oxygen intake so that you can clear your mind of negative thoughts. Try to recall some positive or hopeful anecdotes from your life to boost your spirit.

  1. Accept help from family and friends

As a long time caregiver of a loved one’s long illness, you might feel like an outsider when in a social gathering. It might be frustrating to have the same answer every time that your friends ask about your wellbeing. The trick is to never let the monotony get on your nerves. Be open to be at the receiving end of help. Allow your neighbours, friends and family to run some errands. Accept help without feeling guilty. They’ll definitely appreciate that their interest to provide a helping hand is being acknowledged. Your friends and family give you a sense that you’re not entirely alone in the ordeal of caregiving.

  1. Prepare yourself financially

If you’ve quit your job or are a retired person, you need financial help to meet all the medical expenses of the loved one and costs of daily living. This necessitates that you do some research on the ways to get paid as a caregiver. As a caregiver, you might be fighting the feeling that you have no control over what’s going on in your life and what’ll happen next. When you have a plan for the future in place, your worry about finances and sustenance is significantly reduced. You should be prepared to move to a new living arrangement if the need arises. Learn about the value of your assets, how to access them and how your health insurance works.

  1. Take time off

As soon as you identify some signs of caregiver burnout like irritability and fatigue, you should plan to travel for respite or simply get refreshed. Caregiving can be an all-consuming work and can exhaust the caregiver both emotionally and physically. The secondary or backup caregiver can fill in for you while you’re away. All you need to do is familiarize the secondary caregiver with the loved one’s routine, food habits and medical needs. You can also look into adult daycare facilities if you’re more comfortable and secured with that arrangement. The aim should be to take a break from the pressures of caregiving.

  1. Plan for entertainment

Just because the loved one is incapable of doing some daily activities and you as a caregiver are always in an attempt to provide the best care, it doesn’t mean that you’ll devoid yourself of some good entertainment. Enjoying your time together can strengthen your bond.

Conclusion

Remind yourself of what you’ve achieved by caring for the loved one and remain motivated.

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