Perhaps the care recipient can walk or do stretching exercise with you. If necessary, do frequent short exercises instead of those that require large blocks of time. Find activities you enjoy. Walking, one of the best and easiest exercises, is a great way to get started. Besides its physical benefits, walking helps to reduce psychological tension.
Walking 20 minutes a day, three times a week, is very beneficial. Work walking into your life. Walk around the mall, to the store, or a nearby park. Walk around the block with a friend. It is a strength to recognize when your emotions are controlling you instead of you controlling your emotions. Our emotions are messages to which we need to listen. They exist for a reason. However negative or painful, our feelings are useful tools for understanding what is happening to us. Even feelings such as guilt, anger, and resentment contain important messages.
Learn from them, then take appropriate action. For example, when you cannot enjoy activities you previously enjoyed, and your emotional pain overshadows all pleasure, it is time to seek treatment for depression—especially if you are having thoughts of suicide. Speaking with your physician is the first step.
Caregiving often involves a range of emotions. Some feelings are more comfortable than others.
Caregiving 101: On Being a Caregiver
When you find that your emotions are intense, they might mean the following:. You are responsible for your own self-care. Focus on the following self-care practices:. Family Caregiver Alliance FCA seeks to improve the quality of life for caregivers through education, services, research and advocacy.
Through its National Center on Caregiving, FCA offers information on current social, public policy and caregiving issues and provides assistance in the development of public and private programs for caregivers. Administration for Community Living For caregiver support groups, respite providers, and other caregiving services. Eldercare Locator eldercare. How To Be a Resilient Caregiver lifework.
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Printer-friendly version By Family Caregiver Alliance. First, Care for Yourself On an airplane, an oxygen mask descends in front of you. They report: Sleep deprivation Poor eating habits Failure to exercise Failure to stay in bed when ill Postponement of or failure to make medical appointments for themselves Family caregivers are also at increased risk for depression and excessive use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Taking Responsibility for Your Own Care You cannot stop the impact of a chronic or progressive illness or a debilitating injury on someone for whom you care.
Identifying Personal Barriers Many times, attitudes and beliefs form personal barriers that stand in the way of caring for yourself. For example: Do you think you are being selfish if you put your needs first?
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Is it frightening to think of your own needs? What is the fear about? Do you have trouble asking for what you need?
Understanding Typical Caregiver Duties - Kindly Care
Do you feel inadequate if you ask for help? Do you feel you have to prove that you are worthy of the care recipient's affection? Do you do too much as a result? Here are some of the most commonly expressed: I am responsible for my parent's health.
If I do it right, I will get the love, attention, and respect I deserve. Our family always takes care of their own. I promised my father I would always take care of my mother. Tool 1: Reducing Personal Stress How we perceive and respond to an event is a significant factor in how we adjust and cope with it. Your level of stress is influenced by many factors, including the following: Whether your caregiving is voluntary. If you feel you had no choice in taking on the responsibilities, the chances are greater that you will experience strain, distress, and resentment.
Your relationship with the care recipient.
BENEFITS OF A PRIVATE CAREGIVER
Sometimes people care for another with the hope of healing a relationship. If healing does not occur, you may feel regret and discouragement. Your coping abilities. How you coped with stress in the past predicts how you will cope now. Identify your current coping strengths so that you can build on them.
Your caregiving situation. Some caregiving situations are more stressful than others. For example, caring for a person with dementia is often more stressful than caring for someone with a physical limitation. Whether or not support is available. Steps to Managing Stress Recognize warning signs early. These might include irritability, sleep problems, and forgetfulness. Know your own warning signs, and act to make changes. Identify sources of stress. Identify what you can and cannot change. Remember, we can only change ourselves; we cannot change another person. When you try to change things over which you have no control, you will only increase your sense of frustration.
What can I change? Taking some action to reduce stress gives us back a sense of control. Stress reducers can be simple activities like walking and other forms of exercise, gardening, meditation, or having coffee with a friend. Identify some stress reducers that work for you.
Taking Care of YOU: Self-Care for Family Caregivers
Tool 2: Setting Goals Setting goals or deciding what you would like to accomplish in the next three to six months is an important tool for taking care of yourself. Here are some sample goals you might set: Take a break from caregiving. Get help with caregiving tasks like bathing and preparing meals. Engage in activities that will make you feel more healthy. Goals are generally too big to work on all at once.
We are more likely to reach a goal if we break it down into smaller action steps. Then get started! Possible action steps: Make an appointment for a physical checkup. Take a half-hour break once during the week. Walk three times a week for 10 minutes. Tool 3: Seeking Solutions Seeking solutions to difficult situations is, of course, one of the most important tools in caregiving. Steps for Seeking Solutions Identify the problem. Look at the situation with an open mind. The real problem might not be what first comes to mind. Thinking that you have to do everything yourself.
List possible solutions. Call Family Caregiver Alliance or the Eldercare Locator see Resources list and ask about agencies in your area that could help provide care. Select one solution from the list. Then try it! Evaluate the results. Ask yourself how well your choice worked. Try a second solution. Use other resources. Ask friends, family members, and professionals for suggestions. If nothing seems to help, accept that the problem may not be solvable now. You can revisit it at another time.
Respect the rights and feelings of others. Recognize that the other person has the right to express feelings. Be clear and specific. Speak directly to the person. Other people are not mind readers. When both parties speak directly, the chances of reaching understanding are greater. Be a good listener. Listening is the most important aspect of communication. If you know a friend enjoys cooking but dislikes driving, your chances of getting help improve if you ask for help with meal preparation. Resist asking the same person repeatedly. Do you keep asking the same person because she has trouble saying no?
Pick the best time to make a request. Timing is important. A person who is tired and stressed might not be available to help out. It might be quite a challenge if you have lots to do at home, especially if you are raising a young family. However, the few minutes that you give to an older person can make all the difference in the world. Older people need help when moving from one place to another.
Much of transportation has been covered in this article. However, there is a little difference here. While you can support them to move from one place to another, it is more important if you can run those errands for them. You should be able to visit the clinic to help them get their medications.
You can do some activities for them to give them some ease. As a mediator, you are tasked with collecting the information from the doctors and giving such information to your aging parent and your siblings. The responsibility of a mediator is to be the person who takes the position to pass information and feedback from one individual to another. That is who you should be if you really want to be impactful as a caregiver. As the child of the aging parent, chances are you are already doing it.
However, there is more to being a mediator than you think. You are to follow the health of the older person very closely. You are to record and report any difference or alteration in the health of the older person. Your major responsibility as a mediator is to focus on the aging parent and pass of any observation to the appropriate persons. This is the kind of responsibility that makes anyone a good caregiver.
Older people do not have the strength to clean homes and arrange rooms the way you can. Therefore, organizing the home of your aging parents becomes your responsibility. You are tasked with general house cleaning and cleaning of a specific part of the apartment like the toilet. You are also responsible for cleaning of house furniture and equipment. This is the scary part for some caregivers. However, there is nothing to fear about an older person experiencing a medical crisis. In times of a medical crisis or emergency, you only have to call other relatives of the elderly person. You should also get a quick means of transporting the older person to the hospital for sound medical examinations.
You might have to support another caregiver when they are not available. You have to be ready to shoulder these responsibilities even if you are acting as a back-up to someone else. Caregiving responsibilities are important for both the caregiver and the recipient. Knowing your responsibilities will help you avoid unnecessary clash with the older person or family members.
Some of the responsibilities of a caregiver like running errands for the older person can even be done while going to or coming from a location. You can buy your family items together with that of the older person.
If you want to take the best care of an older person, think of the responsibilities you have to shoulder. With this, you will preserve your own personal and family time and stay happy.
Enjoy the peace of mind of having MobileHelp at your fingertips without wearing obvious medical alert gadgets with the MobileHelp Smart. Learn more about the MobileHelp Smart in our review. AmeriGlide is a recognized leader in the stair lifts, vertical lifts, and wheelchair lifts on the Internet. Read more in this guide to see the top AmeriGlide products. Table of Contents. What are those responsibilities required of a caregiver?
Read them below. Give your loved ones the best care Caring for parents as they age is never easy. Find Caregivers. Assisting With Personal Care One of the biggest responsibilities of a caregiver is to assist the older person with personal care. Answer these questions when considering moving them into your home.
Read More. Learn how to keep a healthy, balanced diet while aging in place. General Health Care Health is the most important aspect of aging. Mobility Assistance. Personal Supervision Older parents usually act like babies as their ages increase. Stressed about home care? Make caregiving easier for the whole family.
Emotional Support More than being a caregiver, you have to be a reliable companion. Transportation Older people need help when moving from one place to another. Be The Mediator The responsibility of a mediator is to be the person who takes the position to pass information and feedback from one individual to another. Home Organization Older people do not have the strength to clean homes and arrange rooms the way you can.
Caregiving , Guide. Handle a Crisis or Medical Emergency This is the scary part for some caregivers. Back-Up Caregiving You might have to support another caregiver when they are not available.
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