There are core steps family caregivers can take to empower themselves to act on behalf of themselves and their loved ones.
- 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, be gracious and accept the offer, suggesting specific ways they can assist.
- Speak up for your rights: It doesn’t have to be this hard.
- 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 find out how to effectively communicate with his or her 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 provides 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.
Sources: HelpStartsHere.org, National Family Caregivers Association
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