Taking Care of the Caregiver
Successful caregivers know that they are responsible for taking care of themselves as well as for their loved one. Part of this balance is physical. Often, caregivers focus so intently on helping others that they neglect to eat well, exercise regularly, keep their own doctor’s appointments or even get adequate rest, all of which contribute to elevating caregiver stress.
The bottom line: pay attention to your own health, and in the long run, you’ll be a better caregiver and a more effective spouse, parent and employee. For tips on maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle read Sunrise Senior Living Blog posts for caregivers.
Take Time for Yourself
Successful caregivers also make a priority of maintaining a social life. As a caregiver, you need social outlets to keep you balanced, so rather than turn down dinner, shopping invitations or another gym class, ask another friend or family member to stand in for you for a few hours. For breaks lasting several days or even a few weeks, Sunrise Senior Living’s Short-Term Stay Program ensures your senior will receive quality respite care and service.
Join a Support Group
Support groups for caregivers provide an opportunity to learn from others who share the same senior caregiving challenges. Quite often, people come away from support group meetings eager to try new approaches to caregiving. They also gain the sense of perspective and caregiver stress management that comes from hearing others talk about their experiences.
Contact the Sunrise Senior Living community in your area for the meeting schedule of a local caregiver support group.
Give Yourself Credit
Above all, successful caregivers give themselves credit for doing the best possible job they can do, rather than focus on things they haven’t accomplished. The care and compassion you are providing are priceless. Be generous with self-acceptance, forgiving of your mistakes and confident in your caretaking decisions. The Family Caregiver Alliance
offers additional resources for helping caregivers care for themselves.