Care-Giving for the Care-Giver
Caring for a loved one with a chronic illness can be beautiful and rewarding, but it can also be a grueling, emotional ride. And though your primary focus is on the needs of another, it’s important to take care of your needs as well.
One of the best ways to do that is to accept help.
Review your situation to determine what type of help you need. Make a list and let the potential helper choose. Even something as simple as having another person do some shopping for you can give you a welcome break. Letting other people help isn’t a failure on your part; it’s smart care management.
You should also find out about the available resources in your neighborhood. There may be care-giving services available like medical transportation or classes to teach you more about the disease your loved one is facing.
Chances are you’re not the only one facing this difficult situation. If there’s one available in your area, you may also consider joining a support group. These groups can help you with problem-solving strategies for difficult situations as well as providing encouragement and the chance to create friendships.
Your health matters too. Make sure to eat properly, get the sleep you need and get some exercise. Study after study has shown that healthy people are able to cope with stress better and solve problems more easily.
Caregiving can be a tough road, but it doesn’t have to be a lonely one. For more information on some of the resources available, you can visit the National Alliance for Caregiving.