Taking care of others may be one of the hardest jobs there is. If you look after a family member or loved one who is facing a life-limiting illness it is important that you look after yourself as well. “Caregivers who take care of themselves can take better care of others”. Caregiving requires patience and understanding, and the responsibility added on top of work, children, and other things can increase stress and cause burn out.
At times you may feel like giving up, but there are ways to help with feeling worn down and to help make sure you keep on the right track-for both your loved one and yourself.
First off, go easy on yourself, especially if you have other responsibilities in addition to caregiving. Sometimes we just can’t do it all and shouldn’t put the expectation on ourselves to do so. Try to let the small stuff go and take things day by day. As a caregiver, you are giving yourself in an important way. Just be sure to take care of you in the process. Exercising is a good way to work up energy to face the day. It helps our moods and is an essential part of keeping up stamina and good health overall. Even if it’s a quick workout in your living room, starting your day this way can be a major plus.
You can also look into community assistance programs and resources such as home health services, adult day care programs and respite care. If your loved one or family member qualifies for hospice services the hospice team can also support caregivers by helping with medications/treatments, providing certified nursing assistance to help with hygiene needs and also arrange for physician home visits too.
If you become too overwhelmed and don’t think you can carry on, talk to your doctor, or the doctor of the person you’re caring for. Support groups exist for caregivers taking care of those diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses like, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s, and MS.
Click on the link below to visit one of our community partner’s page – Nevada Senior Services for more information. For questions about hospice services or to request an evaluation give us a call at 702-636-0200.