Serving as a caregiver comes with a lot of responsibilities encompassing compassion and sacrifice. Not only are you caring for a loved one, but it’s also critical you take the time to care for yourself as well. The American Heart Association captures it best: “Caring for yourself is one of the most important things you can do as a caregiver. It’s key to maintaining your own health and well-being. When you feel better, you can take better care of your loved one.”
Whether you’re currently caring for a loved one, the future may bring this responsibility your way, or you have a friend or family member showing signs they need help, learn more about tips for caregivers and the importance of wellness.
Caregiving can be stressful and challenging at times. One tip for first-time caregivers is to remember to be patient with yourself and with the person you are caring for. Remember that everyone copes with stress differently, so being patient and understanding goes a long way.
It’s important to set boundaries concerning various aspects of your care for someone. From the amount of time, you give to making sure your personal life isn’t disrupted negatively, setting boundaries will benefit the giver and receiver.
Caregiving may be chaotic at times, so organization is key when it comes to your schedule and the schedule of the one you’re caring for — doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, medication dispensation, etc. It’s best to have a plan with days mapped out to ensure things are smooth and as stress-free as possible.
Make Time for Breaks
A large part of caregiver burnout is feeling drained, both emotionally and physically. It’s critical to take breaks and/or schedule days off to help create space for your rejuvenation and personal interests.
There are many resources available for caregivers online and in person, such as virtual support groups, respite care, and more. Don’t be afraid to seek support from others so you’re not put in a position where shouldering the load of caregiving may lead to burnout.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do next — and that’s where caregivers need to be one step ahead. This can apply to both professional caregivers and those caring for a loved one. If you’re not sure what the person you’re caring for needs, ask. If you’re not sure what you need, reach out for help before it affects your wellness.
One of the best tips for caregivers is to take care of themselves. This means getting enough sleep, eating well, and staying healthy. Remember to make time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes each day, because it’s hard to take care of someone else if you’re not prioritizing your needs, as well.
King-Bruwaert House Can Help
If you’re in a position where caregiving may be leading to burnout or perhaps, you’re already there, King-Bruwaert House can help with various retirement options, such as assisted living. To learn more about our Life Plan Community located in Burr Ridge, Illinois, please call (630) 323-2250.