3 Tips For Dealing With Full-Time Caregiving
The unpaid care that millions are providing for the elderly and other people in need of extensive assistance is worth billions upon billions of dollars. Caregiving is one of the most physically and emotionally demanding jobs you can take on, and many people see their health, relationships and finances deteriorate as they become consumed with the needs of those in their care. It is a tough road, but there are things you can do to ease the burden, even if just a little bit.
Getting Other People to Help
A common complaint of caregivers is the fact that siblings, or other relatives who live close by, do relatively little, or sometimes nothing at all, to aid in the care of your loved one. The reasons may vary, some being legitimate and some being nothing more than weak excuses; they convince themselves they really cannot do more and carry on. They see you are providing the care and think they are off the hook.
First and foremost, you have to examine whether you have been honest with your feelings about the situation; in some cases, another person may have no idea what you go through every day and how much you struggle. In other cases they know perfectly well , and they have no interest. With either situation, it is important that you take charge and lay everything out on the table. Play to people’s strengths to get them a bit more enthusiastic about helping out. Some people may be better with financials, while someone else would be good for taking care of things like cleaning or doing the shopping.
Finding Respite for Yourself
The idea that you find respite from caregiving is a common suggestion, and right about now, you may be rolling your eyes. If you had time for yourself, of course you would take it. But, this is not always the case. Many caregivers try to become superman, telling themselves they can handle it all, when in reality, they cannot. Reach out to your local Area Agencies on Aging for information on respite programs that can last anywhere from the day to a weekend or longer. There are also other options for senior care assistance, such as volunteers who will sit with your loved one—this may only be an option, however, if she does not require extensive assistance that a volunteer would ill-equipped to provide.
Find a Support System
Unless someone has walked in your shoes, or is currently walking in them, they have no idea what your life is like. Caregivers can feel isolated, either because they have little time to maintain social relationships, or because they feel like they cannot talk about their situation extensively for fear of burdening other people with their hardships. Finding a support system of other caregivers is crucial. You do not even need to leave your home, although that would be a good thing. There are plenty of websites that put you in touch with people just like you, where you can ask questions, receive helpful advice and just have a good old-fashioned vent.