Caring for the Caregiver
The Live On Goods partners extend a huge thank you to all Caregivers! We know, as all of us have been or are involved as caregivers, how rewarding, overwhelming and stressful caregiving can be.
I have had the privilege of attending seminars, events, support groups and activities while sharing our bonTop (the stylish clothing protector/bib) products. I am constantly in awe of the caregivers I meet and how much they give. I know that these caring people can lose sight of their own physical and mental health as the needs of their family member increase. It can be overwhelming being responsible for someone else. All the obligations can weigh heavily on a caregiver and without realizing it they can become isolated and exhausted.
To avoid this weighty level of responsibility and to relieve some of the caregiver’s burden, I have some suggestions for caregivers. My hope is that you will consider these ideas and that something on the list will be of benefit to you. It is so important that you create a system that allows you to maintain a healthy mental and physical balance, so you can continue to be a wonderful caregiver.
- Attend a disease/diagnosis support group with your family member (they are beneficial to you and your family member)
- Search for community resources in your community under your family member’s specific diagnosis
- Ask for help from other family members, friends and church members – be specific as to what you need – meals, errands, a sympathetic ear, staying with your family member while you go to an appointment – and accept help
- Many excellent websites offer online caregiver information and support
(Caregiver Action Network, Daughterhood, Teepa Snow)
- Reach out to a Geriatric Care Manager to help you and your family member learn about your options and assist you in making decisions and planning for care needs
- Consider having your family member participate in a day care program, to allow them a change of environment
- Consider hiring home care assistance
- If you quit your job to be a full-time caregiver look into agencies like Caregiver Homes who offer stipends for caregivers as well as assisting with resources
- Exercise -Eat a balanced diet – Sleep
- Plan enjoyable activities for you and your family member – dining out, driving to a lake and looking at the water, have music playing, be creative
- Know your limits. It’s okay to say no.
Grateful to you for your caring spirit,
Helen, founding partner of Live On Goods and co-creator of the bonTop, a stylish adult clothing protector