Take Care of Yourself
Studies consistently show that people who provide care to loved ones suffer from higher levels of depression than their non-caregiving peers. In fact, some studies show that as many as half of adult caregivers show signs of depression.
When you're faced with providing care for a loved one, do not set aside your own needs. You are the most important person in the process. If you allow yourself to "burn out", you can no longer care for your loved one and may find that it's hard to take care of yourself.
To avoid the high levels of stress associated with caregiving:
- Monitor your health. Inadequate sleep and high levels of stress can easily take a physical toll. If you find yourself physically or mentally weaker, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
- Set aside a few hours a week of down time outside of the home, maybe lunch with friends or an afternoon at the park.
- Stay connected to others. Do not allow yourself to become isolated from friends or other family members.
- See a counselor to discuss the effects of your newfound role as caregiver.
- Attend caregiver support group meetings.
Cannot say enough wonderful things about Right at Home. Right at Home was originally hired just to help with medications for my 83-year-old father as he was alone in his home in Massachusetts while his four daughters live in Florida. As anyone that has an elderly loved one that lives out of state knows...it's hard to worry from afar. It was a great relief to know that Right at Home was checking on him and keeping in touch with us in Florida. The nurse was trustworthy, caring, kind and just fantastic in every way. Right at Home spent much time on the phone with us to help choose and get him into a rehab facility after he was sick last year, which I always felt was above and beyond. Just recently I was up in Massachusetts with my father because he had developed an infection. My dad refused to go to the hospital and the nurse from Right at Home stayed with us for an extra 4 hours or so until we could finally get the help my father desperately needed at the hospital. Again above and beyond. The Right at Home nurse was like an angel during this stressful time. Five stars is not enough to rate how much Right at Home helped us with our dad.