Every caregiver wants to be the best caregiver that they can possibly be. But what does that entail for you? You might be surprised to realize that the answer is fairly similar for almost every caregiver. Take stock of what you’re already doing and what you could be doing better with some help.
Solid Physical Health
You’re concerned about your senior’s health, but what about your own? Too many caregivers pay little or no attention to their own health needs and then find themselves in a bad situation. You can very easily experience a downturn in your own health that could knock you out of caregiving altogether. Combat that by making and keeping medical appointments with your own healthcare professionals.
An Emotional Support System
Caregiving is emotionally intense. You’re taking care of someone that you love because their life and abilities have changed in some ways. It’s vital that you have an emotional support system that allows you to deal with how you’re feeling in a healthy way as much as possible. Caregiver support groups are an excellent choice, but you might find that friends and family members can support you, too.
Some True Time Away
How often are you taking breaks? If the answer is “not often at all,” you’re overdue for some time off. Taking time away allows you to remember that you’re a person beyond caregiving and that you deserve downtime. Taking time just for you on at least a weekly basis can do far more for you and for your emotional health than you might believe. If you’re concerned about leaving your senior on her own, hire elder care providers and let them take over for you.
Some Boundaries and an Understanding of What They Are
Boundaries are what keep you from pouring all that you have and all that you are into caregiving. Knowing when to say no is really important as a caregiver. If you don’t have healthy boundaries, then you’re likely also keeping to yourself and not giving yourself an emotional outlet, you’re not taking time away, and your physical health is likely suffering. All of that is bad news.
You have to take care of yourself as well as your senior. Not only is that possible for you to do, but it’s also absolutely a necessity. If you don’t pay attention to this, you’re going to find that both you and you’re senior need someone to take care of both of you.