50 Fabulous Caregiving Tips! Self-Care For The Caregiver

Tip# 7: Self-care is of critical importance and a key component in the art of successful family caregiving. As a family caregiver, you must find the time and space to reenergize, so you are able to maintain your physical, spiritual and emotional strength. You're probably asking yourself, how and when will you find the time to care for yourself in the midst of your daily caregiving responsibilities. I was also presented with this challenge as I cared for my Father for 14 years. While there are no perfect solutions for this constant challenge, here a few ideas which you may find helpful.

1.) If you belong to a community of faith, form a small group with other family caregivers within your community of faith. You will be able to receive emotional and spiritual support through prayer and a listening ear from other members who understand your journey. This group will provide a safe space where you are able to share your feelings openly and without judgement and, receive unconditional love and compassion. If you are not able to join a support group and meet face to face, Facebook offers several online Family Caregiver support groups which are available for you to share your caregiving experiences and challenges.

2.) Many Counties provide Adult Daycare Services for Senior Adults. These services will provide the family caregiver with a time of respite, and provide productive services for your family member. Adult Daycare Services typically provides recreational, wellness and creative programs for your loved one. These programs are designed to keep your family member physically, mentally and socially active and will provide you with some much needed respite. Please be sure to research these organizations for their safety record, and any violations prior to utilizing their services. As always, speak to your loved ones Physicians to see if they have any possible referrals for good Adult Day Care Services in your area.

3.) As caregivers, we often attempt to do everything ourselves. This may lead to what's known as compassion fatigue or burnout. Ask your family members Physician about organizations such as The Visiting Nurses Association or IHSS,(In-Home Supportive Services) and other Home Health Aid Services in your area. These organizations will come in and assist you with the 5 Activities of Daily Living: Eating, Bathing, Dressing, Toileting, and Transferring. It is perfectly acceptable to seek assistance so that you can recharge and care for yourself and your loved one properly. Ask Medicare or your Medical Insurance Provider to determine if they will share in the cost for any these services.