Secrets of a Well-Balanced Caregiver

Daily balance is essential for a well balanced life. Caregivers must balance not only their own lives, but the lives of those they care for outside of their own homes.

Most caregivers agree on one thing: you must take care of yourself to be a good giver of care. Here are some tips on how to cope while caring for others:

1. Set up a support system for YOU.
Don’t get so caught up worrying about everyone else that you don’t deal with your own feelings and fears. Find someone who is a good listener with whom you can share your feelings.

2. Take time to recharge.
You can’t be a good caregiver if you are exhausted or sick. Eat well-balanced meals, exercise, get enough sleep and take some time for yourself doing things that make you happy.

3. Respite.
Respite provides temporary relief (respite) from the tasks associated with caregiving. It is intended to provide you time off of caring for someone on a regular basis. Research has shown that providing respite can have a positive effect the overall health of a caregiver.

4. Keep a diary and carry it with you.
Write down EVERYTHING – names, phone numbers, maps, instructions, questions, etc. One day begins to blend into the next and remembering details can be hard. If more than one person will be caring for the patient, leaving any and all detailed updates can help everyone in making certain the best care is being given.

5. Be assertive.
Don’t be afraid to keep asking a question until you get an acceptable answer.

6. Be flexible.
Few things happen exactly as expected. Plan for delays, setbacks and surprises.

7. Don’t be afraid to learn.
Keep an open mind, etc… Information is empowering. The Joan Roth Cypress Training Lab is a great place to fine-tune your caregiving skills.

8. Take things one day at a time.
Or even take things one hour at a time, if necessary. Try not to worry about things that are out of your immediate control. Focus on the things you can control today and measure progress in small increments.

“Since 1994, Cypress HomeCare Solutions is proud of our commitment to providing compassionate care, everywhere. These are secrets Cypress caregivers follow on coping while caring for others.”

Posted on November 22, 2010