Blog on caregiver, cleaning and health care related matters.
Jan-20-2023 | Alzheimer's Care, Caregiver Employment,
Being a first-time caregiver can be an incredibly rewarding experience. However, it can also be overwhelming. This could be due to caregiver anxiety which makes you feel uncertain regarding the level of care you are providing your loved one. But it’s important to remember that you can always reach out to family or even professionals to assist you in caregiving. In this article by Polish Care Services, we’ll explore the best strategies new caregivers can adopt to avoid burnout while providing the highest level of care to their loved ones.
Educate Yourself About the Condition
The type and duration of care required will depend on the condition(s) your loved one is diagnosed with. A good first step will be to learn as much as you can regarding their symptoms and the best caregiving strategies you can adopt. For instance, if your loved one has a mobility disability, moving their bedroom to the ground floor and adjusting the home’s layout to their needs will make their lives much easier.
Reading articles published by medical expertsabout their condition will be the best resource for education. Additionally, you can search for videos to learn from other caregivers regarding the best strategies used by them at home.
Leverage Technology to Complement Healthcare
Many caregivers refrain from allowing their loved one to be home alone owing to the fear of safety. While their concern is justified, in the long run, this has a negative impact on mental health owing to the lack of socialization and isolation.
However, now there are various types of technology caregivers can install in their homes, such as cameras to monitor the property and check up on your loved one (if they are comfortable having cameras indoors). In addition, remote-controlled locks that send you a notification each time the main/back door is opened, as reported by Vivint, and motion sensor lights, allowing your loved ones to move freely around the home without the need to reach a switch.
Maintain Accurate Paperwork
Another area where you should leverage the power of technology is to maintain healthcare paperwork regarding your loved one. In addition to test results and doctor prescriptions, you can also include personal notes regarding your loved one’s response to therapy or other caregiving tools. Not only will this help you improve the level of care, but doctors can utilize this information to provide better treatment as well.
The best way to keep paperwork organized will be to use a document management system, for which you can try this free resource!
Ask for Help
Caregiving is a tough job to manage alone, especially for family caregivers. Hence, rather than burning yourself out trying to manage everything single-handedly, reach out to those around you for help.
This can include family members who can pitch in with caregiving, whether that be to give your loved one company, drive them to doctor appointments, or help out with home chores such as buying groceries, etc. Taking help from others will help to free up time in your day to dedicate towards self-care, hobbies, exercise, or to learn more about the condition.
Practice Self-Care Activities
Constantly neglecting your health needs is bound to lead to caregiver burnout. Which, according to Cleveland Clinic, can lead to changes in sleep patterns, mood disruptions, loss of appetite, reduced cognitive function, and more. The best way to keep caregiver burnout at bay is to dedicate at least an hour a day towards self-care activities such as:
● Exercise – which serves as a great way to stay physically and mentally fit.
● Meditation – that helps you gain control over your thoughts, helping to keep stress in check
● Music/Dance or other hobbies – engaging in activities that provide a sense of fulfillment has a positive impact on mood and self-esteem.
Trying to manage caregiving duties single-handedly is not something first-time caregivers should try. Given the importance caregiving plays in your loved ones’ life, it’s best to ask for help and take assistance from professionals. Additionally, remember to maintain notes and share them periodically with the doctor.
Credit: June Duncan