Society has provided some very distorted misunderstandings of what a caregiver should look like. Think about it? When you think of a caregiver what type of person do you envision? Are they wearing a scrub uniform? What gender or look do you presume they have?
My assumption is you didn't picture a middle-aged man taking care of his wife or mother, or a 70-year-old person caring for one of their grown children.
With the rise in Alzheimer's patients and people requiring care, the duties of a caregiver have fallen on a broader, more diverse population than ever before. Anyone is capable of caring, but it takes someone special to step up and give hands-on care every day. These people are willing to help, even if it means they must make a sacrifice. These are the caregivers.
Caregivers are rising up all over the place needing help for their unique situations, and we all need to do our best to assist those choosing to step up to the plate and care for someone else in need. We are in this together, and there is no reason anyone should be alone in caring for our disabled and elderly.
Please reach out to someone you know who is a caregiver and offer to do something to help them. Little things mean so much when someone is overwhelmed and overburdened.
Don't just offer advice, but provide real assistance.
You could be in their shoes one day too!
Caregivers are often caught off guard in needing help with nowhere to turn. This is a place to come if that happens, or when you need sound advice from someone who's been there! Caregivers are a special breed of people who find it difficult to look away when someone needs help. Being a caregiver is often overwhelming due to lack of resources, support and knowledge in the area of care. Many people are suddenly faced with providing care for someone they love due to unexpected illness; leaving them feeling inadequate and insecure about their abilities to do so.
For whatever reason you are in the role as a "care person," it's a noble position of huge responsibility and should be looked at as any other major life change. Moving forward with information and support to make decisions that benefit everyone involved.
Acknowledging your limits and capabilities will enable you to delegate specific duties to others, so you prevent burn out which may lead to giving up altogether. Planning for present and future events enables everyone to move forward with less conflicts and stress regarding decision making for the person receiving care. By taking these steps you free yourself to focus on your life too and enjoy it more.
Circumstances may arise when you don't know how to move forward in managing care or handling a personal challenge...
This is a place to come when you need daily answers and support!
Make yourself comfortable with reaching out and learning ways to lighten your load. You can avoid common problems by learning ways to be a more effective communicator, and develop the ability to give up some control of some areas to gain control in places where it matters most. Delegating responsibilities to others is a great option that allows you freedom to do what you do best or enjoy most in providing care for the person needing it.
By committing to give yourself as much as you do for others, you feed your ability to be strong and steadfast. When you consider yourself in decisions about care, along with your loved one, you can manage more effectively. You'll be less inclined to feel resentment, anger and frustration as you move forward.
Being a caregiver doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your life. The more educated and resourceful you become determines your overall experience. Whether you have support or doing this alone, you can improve the quality of your life by reaching out and taking advantage of those of us who have already learned from a lifetime of care experiences. We can carry each other through difficult times when caregivers tend to carry too much alone.
I sincerely want to help you thrive because the world needs caregivers like us!
You have many resources at your fingertips here. Please utilize the links, articles and other resources I've provided, especially my upcoming book, Redefining Caregiving. It will be filled with information relating to the most common and frustrating topics caregivers face. If you are interested in obtaining my book, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can be placed first on the list to receive a copy when it's available.
Remember you are not alone!