Caregiver Tips

A very impor­tant aspect of being a care­giv­er is to take good care of your­self phys­i­cal­ly, emo­tion­al­ly and spir­i­tu­al­ly. This will pro­vide you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to give the best pos­si­ble care to your loved one. This may be dif­fi­cult to accom­plish, but can be done in a num­ber of small ways.

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Find Some­one To Talk To

Being a care­giv­er for an ill loved one can iso­late us from the rest of the world. How­ev­er, care­givers need oth­ers with whom they can share their frus­tra­tions and dreams. Times spent indi­vid­u­al­ly with fam­i­ly mem­bers, friends, a ther­a­pist or group sup­port mem­bers may be a vital way to remem­ber that their feel­ings are nor­mal and shared. Care­givers need to have this out­let for them on a reg­u­lar basis.

Keep a Journal

Write down those thoughts that might ini­tial­ly be too scary to share with some­one else, or say out loud. The act of putting down words on paper makes the prob­lems seem more man­age­able. This does not have to be shared with any­one or per­ma­nent­ly kept.

Say It Out Loud

If you are a care­giv­er who does not like to write, youmay occa­sion­al­ly find moments to ver­bal­ize your frus­tra­tions. This can make them feel a lit­tle more man­age­able. (Walls keep secrets.) Wide open, pri­vate spaces like beach­es or forests also may be places for strong voices.

Cre­ative Outlets

Cro­chet­ing, singing, draw­ing or oth­er forms of cre­ative expres­sion can give you a break emo­tion­al­ly from the demands of your role as care­giv­er. Doing some­thing cre­ative reminds you that you have tal­ents beyond your role as caregiver.

Phys­i­cal Activity

One of the best ways to take a break from emo­tion­al or men­tal stress is to do some­thing phys­i­cal. Even if it’s just walk­ing to the Post Office, the act of switch­ing gears from men­tal to phys­i­cal activ­i­ties helps you take a mini vaca­tion” from your wor­ries and stress. Anoth­er ben­e­fit of a short break is that it will help you to solve prob­lems more efficiently.

Take Time Off

You have been cho­sen by fam­i­ly or cir­cum­stances to be your loved one’s pri­ma­ry care­giv­er. How­ev­er, it is impor­tant for your well-being to take a few hours, a day, or even a week or two off. Check with your Hos­pice Care Team about respite care.