You know how important it is to care for your loved one, to make sure the right medications are taken on time, meals are nutritious, bedding is clean, and the list goes on.
Yet, do you also realize how important it is to take care of yourself — the caregiver?
Caregiving for a loved one at home is often a labor of love that can be filled with special and tender moments. Yet many family caregivers do not receive much acknowledgement or help.
Whether you’re taking care of your aging mom or dad, husband or wife, or another loved one, it’s important to notice your own signs of needing a break. Caregivers can experience caregiver burnout, stress, depression, high blood pressure and more.
Even feelings of guilt, anger, and resentment can build and undermine your health and the relationship with your loved one. When caring for a spouse, often the relationship has changed from sharing experiences, joys, and intimacy with a lifelong companion to taking care of someone who may need constant care.
The bond of marriage is strong and sometimes pride can get in the way of spouse caregivers asking for help as they remember their commitment, “I stood before God and said my vows. I will care for my husband.”
The Family Caregiver Alliance addresses challenges and considerations specific to caregivers caring for their spouse, including emotional impacts, physical challenges and social considerations.
Have you considered who would take care of your loved one if something happened to you?
It happens all too often that family caregivers are so focused on the needs of their loved one that they neglect their own needs. Even when caregiving comes from a loving place and is rewarding, it can still be stressful and demanding. It’s important to take care of your own health – physical, emotional, and spiritual.
Make sure there is time to:
- Reflect, breathe, meditate
- Exercise and be outside
- Eat right
- Stay in touch with other family and friends
- Do things that feed and nourish you, that keep you excited about life
It’s valuable to have support, to share the burden and care. Not only will some steady, consistent time off nourish your well-being, it will allow you to come back refreshed as you continue to care for your loved one.
You are not alone. Our caregivers at Take My Hand At-Home Care are specially trained to offer the type of care that is needed for your loved one in Whatcom County, whether it be companionship, assistance with shopping, preparing meals, monitoring medications, or help with personal care. We can give family caregivers in Lynden, Bellingham, Ferndale and beyond a much-needed break, some important and well-deserved time off.