Providing care for a loved one is a selfless act often requiring significant sacrifices to do what is best for your loved one, putting you at risk. Taking time to remind yourself of these simple tips will allow you to check in with yourself and make your caregiving experience more rewarding.
Taking care of yourself in allowing yourself to take breaks, focusing on keeping yourself healthy, and helping your loved one be independent will not only allow you to feel better, but will allow you to provide better care.
Reaching out to others gives you the opportunity to talk about your own feelings and learn from the experiences of other caregivers- whether that be stress relief in engaging your sense of humor or joining a support group of other caregivers.
Above all else, know that you are doing your best. Having a good attitude and remembering how much you love your ailing parent, spouse, relative, or friend, will allow you to be patient and feel appreciated.
Know that you’re not in this alone. There are a number of organizations that offer support for caregivers and their loved ones. The National Council on Aging provides online resources including tools and tips for family caregiving. AARP offers a free wallet card for instant access to information about the CARE Act (a new state law passed by 40 states designed to provide support for family caregivers during their loved one’s stay in the hospital), allowing caregivers to have access about the act when they need it most. Hidden Heroes offers support and resources for military caregivers with the opportunity to connect with fellow caregivers of wounded veterans.
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