A caregiver is someone who gives from the heart to the point of forgetting about their own needs. A caregiver will miss out on sleep, ignore their own health needs, miss out on time with friends and other family and basically put all their needs on the back burner.
Taking care of yourself as a caregiver is very important. This means doing what you can to get enough sleep, take care of your own health and take time to have some personal time. In caring for yourself as a caregiver you are making sure that you will continue to be able to provide excellent care.
This is easier said than done. Believe me I know! As a caregiver it is easy to get caught up in the needs of your loved one and forget your own needs.
You need to create a support system of family and friends who will step up and give you a break, even if it is only for a couple of hours a week. If you don’t have the kind of relationships where you would feel comfortable asking for this help, there are companies that specialize in providing respite care.
If you know someone who is a caregiver ask them if there is anything you can do to help. It can be something simple like helping with yardwork or housework. You can offer to visit with their loved one so the caregiver has a chance to run some errands or go out for coffee with another friend.
You don’t have to be a professional caregiver to help care for a caregiver, you just need to be willing to step in and offer your support.