What caregivers need are accessible services for the person they are caring for, when they need them. Caregivers have told me they want access to services for themselves and the care recipient, not a pat on the back. This is the true meaning of recognition.
Caregiving is an extremely demanding role -- it can drain you physically, mentally, emotionally, and even socially. Of course, due to most circumstances, caregiving is extremely challenging and although each case is unique, there are some key stages in which every caregiver experiences.
Soaking up some sun and fresh air can help us feel good, and is a relaxing way to cope with caregiver stress or treatment for serious illness. Just remember that heat and dehydration, especially for children and seniors, can be potentially dangerous. Here's what caregivers need to know to enjoy the sun safely this summer.
It's a lot to take on, and it's a difficult workload to maintain. Ultimately the caregiver has to make sacrifices in some area of their life, and it's usually their own emotional, physical or mental well-being that suffers the consequences. Sound familiar? Probably.
In my years of nursing and supporting caregivers, time and again I've seen the high expectations we have for ourselves. Caring for someone who has health challenges or is facing a tough diagnosis can cause so much pressure on a daily basis. Worries, decisions, coordinating care and conflicting responsibilities can make caregivers feel overwhelmed.
When Carol and Theresa's mom was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer's and their dad's vision started failing, the news was met with some denial -- and their parents' groaning aversion to leaving their home of over forty years. The sisters, one of whom is my mother-in-law, came to realize that they are now parenting their own parents. In coming to terms with this they also realized that they each need support too. The result is an inspiring and positive arrangement. They've become "co-caregivers."
It is challenging for many people to accept a loss of control as their independence gradually declines. Based on this loss of control, many become anxious, demanding, or resistant. This creates a new set of challenges for the caregiver.
As there will be some special days that make it painful, you can plan ahead. If you have recently lost your father, than make sure you're with supportive individuals on his birthday, or on Father's Day. You will want to surround yourself with people who respect your grieving process. Make sure you accept the love and support of your friends and family members.
Over eight-million Canadians currently provide care for chronically ill or disabled friends and family members. If you're a caregiver, you know how demanding it can be. Your role as a caregiver, can greatly interfere with all other aspects of your life. Although you may feel as though your career is being negatively affected, there are ways to keep your career skills sharp.
Whether you have already made this tough decision or you need to, please remember that guilt is not the healthiest emotion to feel and express. Although guilt is normal, do not let it consume you. Focus on all the positives. Just because your loved one is in a home, does not mean that you can no longer tend to them.