Whether you have been caring for a sick loved one for a long time, or the role of caregiver has been recently thrust upon you, it is likely that you are feeling overwhelmed. We want you to know that you are important, and you are not alone. Your tears and feelings matter and should be shared. Forgive yourself if you do something that is not as helpful as you had hoped. This is a difficult time, and you are doing your best.
Here are some practical tips from other caregivers:
- Create a schedule. You may not follow it exactly, but it may be helpful to have a plan during these anxious times.
- Keep helpful phone numbers, medication logs, and appointment cards in one place for easy reference.
- Don’t hesitate to have a “Do not disturb” sign to hang on the door. Quiet time is important for you and your loved one.
- Keep a small amount of cash on hand so that you can reimburse family members or friends who may run errands for you.
- When cooking, make simple meals and use paper goods to shorten clean-up time.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help. It’s okay to reach out and even delegate tasks to others.
Knowing what is important can make this time more meaningful. What does your loved one want? What needs to be done right now? These are questions to ask that can help you set goals and priorities. Self-care is important. Don’t forget that you are important, and you cannot lose yourself on this journey. Taking time to read a book, take a nap, or talking to a friend can completely reset and re-energize your soul so that you can be the caregiver your loved one needs.