Maybe you are caring for a loved one. Or maybe you’ve hired a professional to help you out. Either way, being responsible for someone is a tough job. Here’s how you can care for the caregiver.
Top Ways to Care for the Caregiver
Sometimes caregiving is so exhausting people don’t realize how drained they are. Therefore, it’s important to ask regularly, “Am I doing OK?” or “Are you doing OK?” This provides an opportunity to self-evaluate. If the answer is “No” or “Not really,” then you can identify problems and explore solutions before a situation becomes unbearable.
Build in Breaks
Caregivers need to take time for themselves. If you’re the caregiver, be sure to schedule a day and/or night off. You may ask a friend or relative to cover for you. Or think about hiring a nurse or aide to come in once or twice a week. If you’ve already hired a part or full-time professional, be sure that person has downtime too. For example, let’s say they would like to take off every Sunday. You could work together to create a schedule accommodating this request.
Seek Out Community Resources
Although caregivers may feel as though they’re all alone, this simply isn’t true. Lots of people are in similar situations, and there are numerous resources available. You or your caregiver (or both) may consider attending a seminar, sharing your story or joining a support group. Websites like The National Alliance for Caregiving and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) provide a wonderful overview of available services.
Purchase Helpful Supplies
Often a few simple supplies can make caretaking easier. For instance, a transfer bench can make bath time less stressful for everyone. Or if music calms your loved one down, a pair of headphones could be a perfect investment. Even if you end up spending a bit more than you planned, you may discover it was well worth the cost.
Create Moments of Joy
A single event or moment can reinvigorate an otherwise dreary day. Purposefully search for ways to brighter your and/or your caregiver’s life. This may be a walk around the park on the first sunny day of spring or an impromptu donut delivery. Also, don’t hesitate to treat yourself or your caregiver. And keep in mind, these gifts don’t have to be extravagant or expensive. They could be a simple as a small bouquet of flowers, a favorite candy bar or an extra afternoon off.
Are You Looking for the Right Caregiver?
If you need extra help caring for a loved one, Anodyne is here for you. We place trusted home and healthcare professionals with families throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Learn more about all the home care services we provide today!