CAREGIVING SUPPORT AND HELP
As life expectancies increase, medical treatments advance and increasing number of people live with chronic illness and disabilities, more and more of us will participate in the caregiving process. As a family caregiver, you may find yourself facing a host of new responsibilities, many of which are unfamiliar or intimidating. At times, you may feel overwhelmed and alone. Providing care for an aging family member is an age old act of kindness, love, and loyalty.
If you’re like most family caregivers, you aren’t trained for the challenges you now face. At the same time, you love your family members and want to provide the best care you can. The good news is you don’t have to be a nursing expert, a superhero, or a saint in order to be a good caregiver. There area many thigs you can do to make the caregiving process easier for both and your loved one. With the right help and support, you can be a good caregiver without having to sacrifice your self in the process
- Learn as much as you can about your loved one’s illnes and about to how to be a caregiver. The more you know, the less anxiety you’ll feel about your new role and the more effective you’ll be.
- Seek out the other caregivers. It helps to know you’re not alone. It’s comforting to give and receive support from others who understand what you are going through.
- Trust your instincts. Remember, you know your family member best. Don’t ignore what doctors and specialists tell you, but listen to your instincts too.
- Encourage your loved one’s independence. Caregiving does not mean doing everything for your loved one. Be open to technologies and strategies that allow your family members to be as independent as possible
- Know your limits. Be realistic about how much of your time and yourself you can give. Set clear boundaries, and communicate those to doctors, family members and others involved.
Places you can turn to for support:
- Family members or friends who will listen without judgment
- Your church, temple, or other place of worship
- Caregiver support groups or other health professionals
- A therapist, social worker or counselor
- National caregiver organizations or groups related to your loved ones specific illness or disability Ask for help, you need to have a clear understanding of your family members needs. Take some time to list all the caregiving tasks required, being as specific as possible.
- Don’t try to do it all. Determine which activities you are able to meet. The remaining tasks on the list are ones you’ll need to ask others to help you with.
Remember, if you don’t get the support you need, you’ll quickly burn out – which will compromise yourability to provide care. www. Helpguide.org
Despite its challenges, caregiving can also be very rewarding. “The capacity to care is the thing that gives life its deepest significance and meaning“. Pablo Casales