As a caregiver, you’ve made the decision to be there for someone you love. Often, that means stepping into a role you may not be used to. Here’s some guidance to help you take care of yourself along the way:
Be “hands-off” at times. Doing everything for your loved one at the expense of his or her independence helps no one. Starting with small tasks, learn to strike a balance between caregiving and giving too much care.
Develop your own care team. Part of being a good caregiver is knowing your limits and when to ask for help. You can’t do it all, nor are you expected to. Develop a care team of friends and family who can step in when you start to feel overwhelmed.
Take it in stride. You may be asked to juggle responsibilities, such as your work hours or your household chores, with medical appointments for your loved one. By breaking up activities into short, workable lists for the week, you are less likely to feel overwhelmed.
Be organized and plan ahead. Keep good records of your loved one’s medical information, including a list of medications, insurance coverage, and scheduled appointments. Be ready to share this information with the doctor and your care team.
Don’t beat yourself up. You’re allowed to make mistakes, be selfish, and even feel angry toward the loved you’re caring for. Understand that that doesn’t make you less of a caregiver; it only makes you human.
Stay positive. Sometimes, you can’t control the stress of being a caregiver, but you can control your reaction to this stress. Keeping a positive outlook on your situation can have a positive effect on your behavior and abilities as a caregiver.
VNS Therapy may help you find a new sense of control