The emotional and physical demands involved with caregiving can strain even the most resilient person. That’s why it’s so important to take advantage of the many resources and tools available to help you provide care for your loved one. Remember, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to care for anyone else. To help manage caregiver stress:
Be prepared with a list of ways that others can help you, and let the helper choose what he or she would like to do. For instance, a friend may offer to take your loved one for a walk or maybe run an errand for you.
Focus on what you are able to do
It’s normal to feel guilty sometimes, but understand that no one is a ‘perfect’ caregiver and that you are doing the best you can.
Set realistic goals
Prioritize, make lists and establish a daily routine. Begin to say no to requests that are draining, such as hosting holiday meals.
Find out about caregiving resources in your community. Many communities have classes specifically about the disease your loved one is facing. Caregiving services such as transportation, meal delivery or housekeeping may be available.
Join a support group
A support group can provide validation and encouragement, as well as problem -solving strategies for difficult situations. A support group can also be a good place to crate meaningful friendships.
Set personal health goals
For example, set goals to establish a good sleep routine, find time to be physically active on most days of the week, eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water.
See your doctor
Get recommended vaccinations and screenings. Make sure to tell your doctor that you’re a caregiver. Don’t hesitate to mention any concerns or symptoms you have.