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Caregiver Support

Caregiver support is a must for every person who acts as a care provider for the elderly, infant, or disabled members of the family. The following article discusses the same.
WellnessKeen Staff
woman and caregiver
Being a caregiver is not an easy job. At times, it can be a lonely and tiresome task, where you are faced with stressful situations. You not only have to take of your loved one, but also yourself. And this is where many people go wrong. They seem to devote their entire time and sometimes even life to the sick person, only to realize that they themselves need someone to take care of them. According to some research studies, one out of four Americans are care providers, who look after their children, elderly person, or physically and mentally challenged person in a family or nursing home set up. However, owing to the lack of adequate support, most of them have reached a stage known as caregiver burnout.
In this condition, the caregivers are so exhausted, both mentally as well as physically, that they cannot provide any more care to their loved ones. Sometimes, they are so annoyed and frustrated that they take out their anger on the person they are caring for, which can affect their relationship. Managing daily responsibilities and care-giving duties can take a toll on their physical, as well as emotional health. They have to undergo myriad emotions such as grief, sadness, worry, anxiety, fear, and guilt, simultaneously. This emotional chaos can lead to complex feelings on which the caregivers rarely have any control. They even feel bad about breaking the commitment and not doing their job efficiently, which further leads to more trauma.
Caregiver support groups are becoming very popular these days. These groups organize workshops where the caregivers meet and share their problems and experiences. It gives them a chance to know about the challenges faced by other care-giving people, and the solutions to cope with them. Following are the guidelines for you to become an efficient care giving person.
Understanding Self Limits
You should not overburden yourself by trying to fulfill all the care-giving responsibilities and daily duties. This will lead to tiredness and frustration. Hence, you should be realistic about how much time you can dedicate for providing care for the patient, and set your time limits accordingly.
Planning In Advance
It is important to plan your weekly schedule in advance, so that you don't have to worry about last minute changes. This will allow you to arrange for a substitute, to provide care for some time, and also finish the tasks at hand in the stipulated time frame.
Asking For Help
You can share your problems with your friends and relatives and make a list of people who are ready to offer help in terms of spending some time with the sick person. Whenever you have some urgent work or want to take a break or relax, you can call the people who wish to offer help. You may even appoint a patient care technician for few days or hours.
Take Out Personal Time
You must take out some time for yourself; if not every day, then at least every alternate day. The process of care-giving should not affect your social and professional life, as it can endanger your psychological health.
Visiting a Doctor
Many times, if the loved one is affected by a disease or some sickness, the surrounding becomes somewhat morbid. It is also possible that you may contract an infection from the patient. So to avoid any unfortunate event, you must visit the doctor regularly.
Understanding the Loved One
You must also understand the sick person and his impairment properly, so that you can provide appropriate patient care. It is important, especially when the patient is affected by some psychological disorder.
Leading a Healthy Lifestyle
You must pay attention to your own health and wellness, and follow a good diet along with regular exercise regimen. It will provide you with strength and energy, to take care of the patient. You must also relax often and try to be calm, patient, and stress-free. This will prepare you to face any good or bad situation.
These insights are sure to provide you with effective management techniques. It will help you manage your daily chores along with care-giving, without feeling exhausted or frustrated.
Disclaimer: This WellnessKeen article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.