4 Must Do Ideas for Self Care for Caregivers
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When you have the responsibility to care for someone else, it is easy to brush aside caring for yourself. This is a mistake though, because if you end up ill who will be caring for your charges then? Self care for caregivers tends to be way overlooked, and is becoming very problematic. If you are a caregiver you need to make sure your needs are dealt with as well as then you will be in a better position to help whoever it is you are looking after.
How Caregiving Can Affect Your Health And Well Being
It is often thought that most carers are people in their midlife looking after elderly parents, but this is not the case. There are children that need carers too. They could be disabled, or it could be a temporary need after an accident or illness. There are even youngsters that give care to relatives.
So often you will hear that a caregiver becomes ill. That’s because they generally put the needs of the person they are caring for first and tend to not look after themselves. They do not have the time, or they are too tired. But whichever it is, in the long run, it is the biggest mistake they can make. Self care for caregivers is so, so important!
It seems that it does not matter on the age, gender, or race, caregivers all report similar problems. They usually suffer from a lack of sleep and don’t eat properly. In addition, they don’t have enough exercise, which lends itself to their tendency to be overweight, and fail to see a physician when they are not well themselves. Which is very problematic since they are more prone to chronic illnesses. They are also at risk of depression and are more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to help them through.
Accepting Your Limitations
The first thing you have to do is realize that no one can give care 24 hours a day. If the person you are looking after needs 24-hour care then you must have help.
Even in the case of someone that does not need overnight care because they sleep quite well, means you could be still caregiving 18 hours a day, and that is too much for anyone.
You do not need to feel guilty because you need some time to yourself. You also have to put faith in others when you want a break. Don’t feel inadequate because you ask another family member to take over your duties while you take a shopping trip, or a quiet walk in the park.
The person you’re caring for won’t love you any less because you’ve taken time to prepare yourself a proper meal or take a shower. In fact, looking after yourself will help to keep you in a better frame of mind. This makes things more pleasant for them as well.
Once you have accepted your limitations you will be able to move forward with help from others. It will be a small step at a time until you learn to walk away for a while. But the difference to your health can be very beneficial.
Financial Help For Caregivers
There are many different factors in the US that determine if you are entitled to any financial help. Each state has its own set of rules and calls the financial assistance by varying names.
Some will pay family caregivers as long as it is not a spouse or guardian. Others will only pay caregivers that do not live in the same house as the recipient.
Having to give up work to become a carer can create huge financial problems. However, some people qualify for medical assistance through Medicaid, some because they are war veterans and sometimes you can get the financial help you need from your health care insurance, as some policies include this as a benefit.It may also be possible for, say an industrial negligence or birth injury lawyer, to help you successfully due for damages if an injury or illness was caused by negligence. Explore these options because they may help you more than you think.
The other option is if the person you are looking after has the resources to pay you, and they are of a sound mind, you could become an employee of theirs. This may seem as though it is unnecessary. But you should definitely have a contract of employment in place just as you would with any other job. As with all contracts of this type, this is to provide protection for employer and employee should a dispute arise.
Support For Caregivers
One of the biggest problems caregivers sometimes face is they feel there is a lack of support. Studies show that this happens no matter how old the person they are caring for is.
Self Care for the Caregiver is vitally important and support is available from several government departments. There are usually local support groups where others are experiencing just the same as you. This can be a huge help because then you realize you are not the only one. There are online forums where you can chat to people and get their opinions as well.
Get some help if you need it because your wellbeing is just as important as everyone else’s!
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