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.