Self-care for the Care Providers
You may consider caring for a loved one to be your duty, calling, or even a privilege. Though gratifying, caregiving can be difficult work, both emotionally and physically. It is important to find ways to take care of yourself, as you care for or support your loved one. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make sure to eat properly. When we are saddened or overwhelmed, nutrition may take a back seat. But, it is important to stay healthy as a support person during this time. If need be, set an alarm to remind yourself to eat or snack on something healthy.
- Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
- Move daily. Whether it means walking to the mailbox, or simply doing stretches, movement helps reduce stress and your blood pressure, while increasing endorphins. It naturally helps you feel better.
- Consider doing word puzzles, getting some coloring books, journaling or reading a good book – even if for only a few minutes at a time. Keeping your brain engaged in mindful activities is another way to reduce stress.
- Even if it is hard to do so, ask for help when you need it. This may mean relying on friends or other family members. Maybe someone from your church our outside support network. Often times, people are waiting to help and just don’t know how to express that to you. Be clear and let others know what you need.
- Talk with our care team and let us know how we can better help you or connect you to area resources that may be able to add additional support for you.
What if my loved one needs more care than I can provide?
Sometimes, despite best efforts, a loved one may need more help than you or a family member or friend can provide, physically and emotionally. Caring for someone at the end of life can be challenging. Here are some suggestions for how to manage this delicate situation:
- Consider talking with your loved one and expressing your concerns
- Ask your loved one what their wishes are and see if you can develop a plan that is safe and effective for all involved
- Talk with the care team about your thoughts and concerns, and share your plan
- If you need assistance finding additional care or support, our team can provide knowledge and resources that will help you and your loved one make the best decisions regarding care