One of your most important responsibilities as a caregiver is to take care of yourself if you neglect your own health and well-being both you…

Try: One of your most important responsibilities as a caregiver is to take care of yourself if you neglect your own health and well-being both you and the Care recipient (cr) will suffer some recommendations for your self-care are shown below implementation of these recommendations may help you be a more effective caregiver perform a self assessment to identify how you really feel are you trying too hard to prove that you are worthy do you feel selfish putting your own needs first do you feel inadequate if you ask for help do you feel that you are the only one that can do the job and do it well do you concentrate more on the tasks that you don’t do well rather than congratulate yourself on the ones that you excel in problem solving goal setting and planning be honest with yourself in defining the specific issues that you are facing as a caregiver look for realistic solutions that are workable set realistic goals that are measurable develop care giving action plans that will be effective and beneficial to the cr plan ahead it is better to anticipate a potential problem rather than wait for a crisis to occur making important care giving decision while in the crisis mode can be very stressful and may not provide the best results write down your list of care giver problems possible solutions goals action plan and so on this will help you keep track of everything organize your thoughts and document your progress manage stress look for warning signs such as irritability sleep problems depression and forgetfulness ask yourself what causes your own personal stress it could be too much responsibility or too much work family dynamics or trying to be a caregiver while balancing other family responsibilities such as a spouse and children target the areas over which you have control you may not be able to change everything but may be able to change enough so that you can cope better small changes can make a big difference let go of the things that you have no control over step back and away from the situation and carve out time for yourself whether it is in the form of exercise relaxation or venting your frustrations to a friend conquer depression before it conquers you depression left alone may turn inward and result in anger that adversely impacts both you and the cr other suggestions for caregiver self-care if there is an area of care giving that is particularly troublesome and difficult for you such as bathing; make arrangements for someone else to take over this chore schedule a regular time each week for respite care use this time productively to rest relax do the activities that you enjoy and take care of personal matters always have a "plan b" if one solution doesn’t work don’t get discouraged and give up keep trying different solutions until you come up with one that works for both the cr and you utilize local resources locate either volunteer services or social services that can help with some of the care join a support group maintain a list of care giving tasks that other individuals can help with that way when someone offers to help you can respond with a specific list of tasks and directions to doing those tasks friends and neighbors may want to help but need direction in assessing just what needs to be done and how to do it keep a positive attitude self-doubt and negativity will weaken your resolve and be reflected in the attitude of the cr exercise even a limited amount of time exercising each day will help reduce your tension increase your energy level and help you sleep better control your emotions don’t harbor feelings such as guilt anger or resentment intense emotions are red flags that may mean there needs to be a change in the care giving situation get regular checkups taking care of your own health is as important as taking care of the cr’s health conclusion focusing on your own self-care will help you be a more effective caregiver for others you will be less vulnerable to the stress and burnout that frequently comes with the care giving role information references adapted from an article by family caregiver alliance national center on care giving

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Categories: Caregiver Needs&Support

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Keywords: Care giving stress positive attitude depression self-doubt support

*This information is listed as a Fact Sheet and is not explicitly medically licensed

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