We help lots of families with providing relief with caring for their loved ones. Sometimes, when our caregiver arrives to provide assistance, the family member is exhausted and needs some care themselves. Caring for someone else is one of the most selfless acts you'll ever do, and it can take a great deal of energy, as well as an emotional and physical toll on you.
Here are 10 tips for family caregivers:
1. It's okay to take a break.
We can't be everything for everyone all the time. Know your limits and listen to your inner voice that tells you to take a break. Schedule a short walk or a trip to a coffee shop. Or, arrange for a day off and let a Kind Companion step in and help your family in the interim.
2. Stay self-aware
Many caregivers are so dedicated to caring for their loved ones, that they miss very important signs of depression, anxiety, or even physical ailments. Don't ignore those signs, and get help from a professional as soon as you suspect a problem.
3. Ask for help
This is hard for many of us to do, but don't be afraid to ask for help. And if someone offers to help, accept it. Perhaps someone from church offers to bring over a meal. Let them. They wouldn't offer if they didn't really want to help. We all need a little help sometimes. Some of our Kind Companions even step in and take over meals and laundry for our clients, depending on the immediate needs of the family.
4. Ask questions
This may seem pretty obvious, but don't be afraid to ask your loved ones' doctors questions about their conditions, medications and how you can effectively care for them. Stay involved to avoid any surprises later.
5. Protect your body
Many family caregivers contact us when they have become injured caring for their loved one at home. Perhaps they were moving furniture or helping their loved one in the shower, and they took a fall protecting them. This happens all the time, which is why it's very important to protect your body at all times. Try to stay in shape, if possible, and eat healthy. The stronger your body, the less opportunity for injury.