November 6, 2019
Being a caregiver means that you might feel you have to be prepared for everything. The problem is that “everything” covers so very much ground. For your own sanity, what do you really need?
A Plan for Self-care
If you don’t have a plan for self-care as a caregiver, that’s going to keep you from thinking about or engaging in self-care. Self-care is such an important topic for caregivers because it’s how you’re going to ensure that you’re in the best shape you can be in to continue caregiving. It’s like training for an athletic event. If you’re not preparing, it’s not going to go how you think it will go.
A Base of Knowledge to Which You Can Refer
Caregiving involves a wide range of information that you need to know or at least know how to access. When you’ve got a strong base of knowledge you can lean on, it’s a lot easier for you to rely on it to make decisions you feel comfortable making. When you’re constantly second-guessing yourself and your decisions, that really drains you.
Plan B, Plan C, and Even More Plans
You might have the best Plan A that any caregiver ever formulated. But that’s not what really matters, because you’re almost always going to run into a snag. What really matters is that you’re able to adjust and shift easily to Plan B or even to Plan G when the situation warrants. You need to have information and you need to have plans, but you also have to be flexible.
Support Groups Are a Good Idea
Other caregivers are such a fantastic source of support, information, and camaraderie. Joining a support group is scary, though, and it can also feel as if you’re spending an awful lot of time and energy somewhere other than on the act of giving care. But you can get so much back from spending that time with other caregivers.
One of the ways you can get all of the above is by relying on respite help. Taking some time away can enable you to take better care of yourself, attend support group meetings, and just focus on you for a little while. Taking advantage of respite help is not selfish in the least and often benefits your senior as much as it benefits you.
Having a full toolkit enables you to have the best chance possible at being the caregiver you want to be. Explore the different options and put together a plan that works for you.