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Senior Lifestyle

Caregiver Tips : How to Help Yourself and People Around You

Written by Dayna C
Last Updated :
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Being a caregiver tells so much about your humanity and care for others, but never forget that you must take care of yourself first.

In this article, we will reveal some of the caregiver tips that will help you maintain your mental and physical health.

We are talking about non-professional caregivers, but even if you are a professional caregiver, our article will also be a huge help to you.

What is the definition of a caregiver?

A caregiver is a person who provides help and support to a person who needs it (ill partner or spouse, aging relative, a child, or a friend).

If you are actively caring about someone, you might get into a situation where you start neglecting your role and forget about the fact that you need some support and care too.

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That is why we decided to write an article about caregiver tips that will make you feel better about yourself so that a person in need can feel even better by your side.

Caregivers Face High-Risk Factors

We know how much you care about a loved one and how hard you are trying to make that person feel good and loved.

Caregiving itself might bring you many rewards, as you want to provide fulfillment of the needs of your loving person, which makes you happy at the same time.

However, be aware of the facts and don’t neglect situations where you might feel frustrated, sad, angry, exhausted, or alone.

As a caregiver, you may experience many emotional changes during this period and find it difficult to cope.

Don’t worry – it’s not only you, all the caregivers go through this phase occasionally Our caregiver tips will help you look at things from a more positive perspective.

We want you to be honest with yourself first and then let us know – are you under stress?

As you care about the health of the person you are looking after, you should care about your health even more.

Some of the risk factors caregivers face every day are:

  • Some people don’t even have the option to choose if they would want to be caregivers at all,
  • Long-term stressful situations might affect problem-solving skills, so a caregiver feels lost,
  • A caregiver doesn’t have the choice to determine how many hours a day he/she will spend in caregiving,
  • In case a caregiver lives with a disabled person, he/she might give up further education,
  • Which additionally leads you to financial issues in some cases,
  • Or social isolation – depending on the stress level a caregiver is exposed to,
  • Coping with depression.

Signs You Are Exposed to Stress

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The first time that you notice that you are forgetting about your well-being, can be the start of depression.

Lots of stress can affect your mental and physical health, especially if you are exposed to it in your home for an extended period of time.

It’s not natural to feel bad about yourself, as every living person needs sleep, carefree moments, time for hobbies, socialization, physical activity, a well-balanced diet, etc.

If you are providing care to someone you love, provide care to yourself too, as the person in need shouldn’t hold it against you.

If your resistance to stress reaches breaking point, then you might find yourself in a situation where:

  • You feel tired and worried constantly,
  • Gain or lose weight often,
  • Have the need to sleep for days or don’t have the need to sleep at all,
  • Are feeling sad or depressed often,
  • Get irritated, angry, or provoked easily,
  • Experience headaches, migraines, or any type of body pain and physical problems,
  • Start using alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or medications, or you start consuming these much more than you used to.

Caregiver Tips to Feel Better About Yourself

In case you want to prevent becoming stressed or you recognize some of the symptoms we talked about in the previous paragraphs, make sure to follow our caregiver tips and strategies to help you.

  • Focus on your abilities and set realistic goals

The number one rule when we talk about caregiving is that there is no perfect caregiver.

We are 100% assured that you will give the best of yourself to make your loved one feel understood and loved.

However, you don’t have superpowers and won’t be able to complete all the daily tasks perfectly, but you must believe and understand you are capable.

You may feel guilty about your situation sometimes, but don’t let yourself sink into that feeling, as that will negatively affect both you and a person in need.

After all, you are not a machine so you don’t have to overthink unrealistic goals.

Focus on what you are doing the best and try to improve at things you feel insecure about.

If you break your daily tasks into smaller sections, prioritize, and establish a routine, you will notice things will seem much easier.

  • Be open to people who offer help

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We know you believe you can do it all by yourself, but accepting help doesn’t mean you are not good enough caregiver or that you don’t care enough.

Other friends or family may see how much responsibility you have and want to help you with the chores and caregiving.

For example, if a family member or a friend offers to take a person in care for a walk or pick up some groceries from the store, run an errand, cook, help with taking a bath, or anything else – accept the help graciously and don’t feel guilty at all.

Taking a rest from some things will surely help your well-being.

  • Research caregiving communities and support groups

If you get the chance to talk to people who are caregiving persons with the same needs as your loved one, you might get a whole new perspective. You just need a laptop to go online and join caregiving groups on social media.

Luckily, there are many communities that give tips and information about caregiving or talk about caregivers themselves too.

If you join one of these communities, you might hear some of the best caregiver tips.

Additionally, some provide some caregiving services, such as housekeeping, meal delivery, or transportation.

A support group is one more way to reach some of the caregiving resources, but what is the most important here – it can provide you as a caregiver with validation and encouragement.

If you find it difficult to cope with everyday issues, the support group will open up some problem-solving strategies that will help you get to the end of a tough situation.

What is great about support groups is that members are other caregivers who know what you are going through and have already been there.

If you join one of these groups, you will find some answers you have been looking for, but you will also meet some new friends and develop them.

Some caregivers forget about their social lives completely, as they focus only on a person in need.

Try as much as you can to stay well-connected with people who mean to you – friends and family, as they won’t ever judge you and will give you emotional support.

You should find some time every week to go out and connect more with other people, even if it would be for one hour or two.

  • Pay attention to your health.

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We already mentioned this in the past paragraphs; we want you to understand that we stress this topic with a strong purpose.

In order to maintain your daily activities properly, you should sleep at least eight hours a day, drink plenty of water, eat healthily, and find some time to be physically active.

It might seem boring, but setting goals and establishing a routine will help you protect your health.

Caregivers may have bad sleep patterns and neglect the need for more sleep, but this might seriously affect health in the long run.

One of the best caregiver tips is to see your doctor regularly.

Don’t keep the fact that you are a caregiver to yourself – share it with your doctor, and don’t think twice about mentioning some of the potential symptoms you are dealing with.

Caregiver tips: Conclusion

Sooner or later, you as a caregiver might come to a point where you are overwhelmed with thoughts, emotions, memories, stress, and worries.

That is why it is so important to clear your mind and soul and help yourself first to help a person in need.

Remember that you are a wonderful person and that anyone would be lucky to have a caregiver like you, but there is no way to take the burden on your back.

There will come a moment when you will feel exhausted or down, so don’t push your limits – accept that help your friend or a member of your family offers.

We understand how responsible, humane, and sometimes stressful but lovable the job of a caregiver can be, so we wanted to give you some caregiver tips that will ease your situation so that you and the person you are taking care of can feel better.

About Author

Dayna C
Dayna has an incredible passion for helping others and a background as an in-home caregiver for the elderly. She left the field temporarily three years ago to stay at home with her twins, but found that she really missed working with senior citizens. She launched LoAids as a way to help not just her own loved ones and former clients, but ALL seniors live life to the fullest in their golden years.  Follow her on LINKEDIN and TWITTER. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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