Many caregivers are surprised that they need to spend as much time caring for themselves as they do caring for their aging adults. The reason for this is simple. You can’t be effective as a caregiver if you’re ignoring yourself.
Take Respite Time Regularly
Respite time is time in which other people step in and give you a chance to take a break from being a caregiver. When someone else, such as elder care providers, is being the primary caregiver, you can focus on all of the other things in your life that need your attention. Respite care isn’t a one-time deal. You need it consistently in order to keep your focus.
Shut Down Damaging Criticism
There are a lot of folks out there who may want to tell you how you could or should be doing things differently as a caregiver. While they may be offering you advice from a genuine position of wanting to help, this often comes across as criticism that can create problems for you if you let it. Shut down criticism with a polite thank you and then change the subject to something else.
Go Easy on Yourself
In your quiet moments, it’s not just other people who might be criticizing you too harshly. You’re likely to be your own worst critic. Go easy on yourself and remember that you’re doing the best you can with the situation that you have. Getting help from other people can help you to maintain that perspective.
Develop Strong Problem-solving Skills
The more confident that you are about your ability to solve problems, the easier they’ll seem when you come up against them. Many caregiver support groups offer you the ability to talk with others about how they solve problems, which can help you to learn how to do so more effectively.
Take Care of Your Physical Health
If you’re not eating right, sleeping well, and generally caring for your own physical needs, you’re more likely to be run down. This makes everything, including caregiving, feel much more difficult. You’re also more likely to pick up every random bug that crosses your path and you can’t afford to be sick as a caregiver.
Sit down and evaluate what you’re doing well in terms of self-care and what you could be doing better. Then you’ll know where to focus most of your energy.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING ELDER CARE IN CORNELIUS, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF CHARLOTTE. (704) 246-5806.