When you are a family caregiver, it’s easy to overlook your own care. In order to be the best caregiver for your loved one, pay attention to your needs as well. Here are a few reminders to help empower yourself as a family caregiver:
- Believe in yourself: Trust your instincts. Usually they will lead you in the right direction.
- Protect your health: Your loved one’s wellbeing depends on it.
- Be good to your back and learn how to properly lift, push and pull without straining yourself.
- Reach out for help: Family caregiving is a job for more than one person.
- When people offer to help, graciously accept the offer. Suggest specific ways they can assist.
- Caregiving is a job, and respite breaks are something with which you deserve to reward yourself.
- If you are feeling depressed and without hope, don’t wait to get professional help.
- Learn about your loved one’s condition and learn how to effectively communicate with doctors.
- Be open to technologies and ideas that promote your loved one’s independence.
- Grieve for what may be lost, but then allow yourself to dream new dreams.
- Seek support from other caregivers in your situation, whether that is through an in-person or online support group, or just coffee with friends.
There is great strength in knowing you are not alone. Visiting Angels of the San Francisco Bay Area can provide in-home respite care for family caregivers when needed. We can also help coordinate community resources and services, broadening the scope of care so that aging in the comfort of home can be a long-term sustainable option.
Contact us in Alameda County at (510) 284-0000 or in Santa Clara County at (408) 735-0977.
Sources: HelpStartsHere.org, National Family Caregivers Association