As a home caregiver, you have probably heard people telling you to take care of yourself. This statement couldn’t be more accurate. Not taking care of yourself only leaves you open to caregiver burnout. Furthermore, the less you care for your own needs, the more you are putting your patient at risk.
Here are ten tips for caring for yourself as a caregiver who is intent on giving all that you have to your patient in need.
The Importance of Self-care for Caregivers
Nap When You Have To
Tired driving causes accidents and the same can be said for caregivers who take care of their patients while they’re overtired. If you haven’t caught enough Z’s, your patient might take the wrong medication, the person may fall, or worse.
Instead, find a couch or cot and take a nap when your patient naps, if possible. While it is tempting to complete one or more tasks while your patient sleeps, like cleaning or organizing their meds, or making the home fall-proof, your rest is more important.
Don’t be afraid to squeeze in time for self-care, even sleep, when you need it.
Eat When You Can
Just like being overtired can cause accidents, the same can be said for lack of proper nutrition. Whether you’re on a diet or you forgot to eat, you are putting your patient at a disadvantage by engaging in caregiving while overly hungry.
While eating three big meals a day may prove difficult with your busy caregiving schedule, you can try to bring snacks to work with you. Focus on low-fat, wholegrain foods that will fill you up fast and keep you energized all day long. A bowl of soup and half a sandwich can do wonders, for instance, when those pangs of hunger threaten the level of care you give your patient.
Eat often and keep your blood sugar regulated if you hope to provide top-notch care.
Make Time for Relaxation
If you are always going, you may find yourself running out of gas before long. Being weary can lead to mistakes, just like being overly tired can. The alternative is to rest as often as you need. Set a timer for ten minutes or so and sit down. You don’t have to rest only during this time. You can fold laundry or watch a few minutes of TV with your patient. You can even sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea for a little one-on-one companionship. Your patient will get the friendly ear they crave, and you’ll get the rest you so badly need.
Get Some Fresh Air
No matter if it’s hot, cold, or so-so outside, you need fresh air often. Once per day, at least, step outside and take a few deep breaths. Really work your lungs and clear your mind. This is your time to rest and recharge so that you can get back to your caregiving services.
If you can’t step outside out of fear of leaving your patient, try to open a window and get some fresh air that way. It won’t take long for you to feel fully refreshed.
Call the Home Care Professionals
Whether you are taking care of a loved one or friend, you want to give your all to your patient, but sometimes we all need a break. You shouldn’t feel bad about needing some relief from your caregiving duties. Instead, call Infinite Love Home Care, where we offer respite care services to give your caregiving feet a much-needed break.
We offer medical care, speech and physical therapy, occupational therapy, and Alzheimer’s care. We can even take your loved one to and from the doctor and provide companionship whenever he or she needs it.
Your loved one is always in the best of hands with our home care team. Call today to schedule a free consultation in Orange County, California.