10 things every caregiver should know
Read these valuable and practical caregiver tips that no one will tell you about.
Caring for someone who is ill, elderly, or disabled is a challenging yet rewarding role. Whether you are a professional caregiver or providing care for a loved one, it’s important to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide the best possible care. Here are ten essential things that you should know to navigate this vital role effectively.
1-It’s not your fault
Most of you(in fact all of us) have been conditioned to believe that if your loved ones are ill it is your fault. It is not. People fall sick due to many reasons and it is not because you neglected your duty or stepped out with your friends or decided to spend some quality time on yourselves.
2-Sometimes care is beyond your capacity
Ailing loved ones require specialized care which may be beyond your understanding and basic human capacity. You don’t have to turn yourself into a superhero and manage everything. That happens only in movies. In real life, you will always need help and you should take it without guilt.
3-You have your needs too
Just because you are a caregiver doesn’t mean you don’t have any needs. You can feel tired, depressed, irritated, and angry too and it is perfectly fine to experience those emotions. Make sure that you acknowledge what you are going through and talk about it to someone you are comfortable with.
4-It is fine to make mistakes
So you didn’t get something right. But before you start bashing yourself for it understand that it is very human to make mistakes. You can always turn to your doctor or any health care professional if you couldn’t do something right and salvage the situation. There is always a next time. e.g managing medication, preparation of special food, making the ailing person do exercises, etc
5-All medical conditions cannot be managed at home
Everyone thinks that the love and care ailing people receive at home will never be given by professionals in a hospital/ hospice/ continuum care center. In fact, the opposite is true. Certain health conditions require specialized treatment and rehabilitation which is extremely difficult to set up at home. Additionally, it is very tedious for the ill person to travel frequently and to different places for different therapies and treatments. In such a scenario it is practical to shift the loved one to a hospital or a center and make life easy for everyone.
6-It is not necessary for ailing people to always follow a strict schedule
While following the doctor’s advice is mandatory, you should always use your common sense and instincts when it comes to dealing with an ailing loved one. Sometimes all they need is a loving hug or a break from the monotonous schedule to feel better and take on life with renewed motivation.
7- Don’t drag your kids into caregiving forcefully
Kids learn more by observing than by preaching. If you are loving towards the ailing person and doing it the right way, your kids will follow the same example. However, they will do so at their own pace and will. Communicating openly about needing help may be a good idea instead of using any kind of emotional manipulation or control to get them to care forcefully for the sick person.
8-Caregiving is teamwork
An ailing loved one is everyone’s responsibility in a family. Taking turns makes everyone accountable and avoids overburdening one person. Schedule a family discussion from time to time to make everyone feel included and responsible and urge them to pitch in.
9-Don’t expect miraculously quick recoveries
Recovery from an illness is a gradual process that requires consistent effort and time. While some people may recover quicker than others, for the ones who take longer there should be no reason for concern or loss of hope. The essential thing to note here is not to stop any treatment without consulting the doctor or a healthcare professional.
10-Smile and let go
Ailing people don’t have it easy either. The illness may make them edgy and intolerant. If they lose it on you, know for sure it’s not you but the situation they are in. In such cases learn to smile, let go and take each day as it comes.
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