Helpful Tips for Caregivers
A Baker’s Dozen Tips For Caregivers
- Reward yourself with frequent breaks, like thumbing through your favorite magazine, reading a few pages of a book, or watching TV. You’ve earned the right to relax periodically.
- At the first sign of depression, reach out for professional help.
- When help is offered, accept it, but be prepared to repay it with like kindness, if not financially. Don’t let caregiving turn into a 24/7 job, doing everything yourself.
- Learn to recognize signs of change in your patient – good or bad -- and communicate them to the professional(s) in charge.
- New technologies and gadgets can relieve you of many caregiving burdens. Learn what’s available. Don’t hesitate to rent or buy, and use, them.
- Your instincts are usually on target. Rely on them to guide you.
- When lifting, pushing or pulling, learn techniques that are easy on your back and joints.
- Don’t be afraid to dream new dreams and make plans to do something you love after you’re relieved of caregiving – like planning an exotic vacation.
- Chat with other caregivers so you give each other support. Your local area may have a caregiver support group. Join it!
- Assert your rights and independence. As caregiver, you are not a slave.
- Be kind to yourself, as well as your patient.
- Keep smiling and try to laugh a lot. Your patient will feel better – and so will you.
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book”
— An Old Irish Proverb
- Rely on your faith for strength. It’s amazing how much it will help you see through trying times, including grief and guilt.