You might feel as if thinking about self-care when other people need your help is selfish, but it’s exactly the opposite. If you’re not worrying about your own self-care, you’re not going to be in a position to be able to be a caregiver for long. That might mean that it’s time for you to consider some of these facts around self-care when you’re a caregiver.
You Absolutely Need a Backup
Most family caregivers don’t even think about who will take over when they have an emergency or get sick. If you already have a backup you can contact, that’s going to make your life so much easier. Home care providers help to ensure that your elderly family member has consistency and the assistance that she needs. Working with other caregivers on a regular basis helps to ensure that you’ve got coverage when you need it.
Support Services Do a Lot for You and Your Senior
Support services from elder care professionals to other specialists ensure that you’re able to keep meeting your elderly family member’s needs. The less stressful that process is for both you and your senior, the better all the way around. This also helps to ensure that you’re able to focus on something beyond just caregiving. Home care services can offer hands-on assistance to your elderly family member, help with transportation, and even offer companionship.
You Need Something Beyond Caregiving
But why is it so important for you to have something beyond caregiving? You’re a whole person, not just a caregiver for your elderly family member. When you’re able to spend time doing other things that aren’t involving caregiving, you’re better able to recharge and bring your best back to your interactions with the people you care about.
Know the Signs of Mental Stress
You may already know some of the signs of mental stress, but as a family caregiver it’s essential that you get really familiar with even the smallest symptoms. If you’re experiencing low energy levels and having a tough time sleeping, it might be related to stress. Muscle pain, headaches, and even digestive issues can also be related to stress.
Take Care of Your Physical Health
When you’re taking proper care of your physical health, lots of other things can fall into place more easily. Make sure you’re moving your body regularly and eating foods that offer nourishment. Sleep doesn’t just help you deal with emotional and mental stress. It also helps your body and brain to be ready for all of the challenges that caregiving sends your way. If you’re not prioritizing your physical health now, you may find yourself in a situation later in which you don’t have as much choice as you do now.
Keeping yourself in the best possible shape to be able to care for someone else requires that you’re conscious of what you need and how to meet those needs. When you start to ignore your own well-being, it becomes so much more difficult to be there for the people you love.