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.