Providing the care to your loved one, who is handicapped or suffering with acute, chronic or terminal illness, has been an age-old act of loyalty, love and kindness. This has been considered as a virtue as well. But the dilemma is that the person, who is a care taker of any one, neglects his/ her personal needs, wants and feelings, while serving at the best. For many people it is highlyrewarding, as it nourishes their spiritual being. But in any case, the care giving brings many challenging situations in the care giver’s life, especially in the case of chronic and terminal illness.
All over the world at least in every third home, there is a care giver. Only USA, there is an estimate of 44 million caregivers. Half of them are women, some are men, and unfortunately some are children too who are serving their loved one suffering with disease and needs nursing. It has been observed that the caregivers are magnificent and generous people who put commendable efforts to serve their loved one. But they are completely ignorant towards their own physical and mental health. They forget that they are existing too on this earth and have priorities. With the concept of being superhero who is performing the extra ordinary task, they become self negligent. Sooner or later it has been observed that they experience burn outs.
By following certain tips , any caregiver can keep on moving on the track of this noble responsibility and can make it easier for one self.
Tip # 1. Accept your feelings. You may become anxious and fearful over, that this may happen to you as well. At times it has been observed that the caregiver feels anger or resentment towards the care receiver and you know that it is irrational. If there is a feeling of grief, then do acknowledge it. It is a sad fact that a loved one is suffering with some disease. What ever the upsetting emotion your are experiencing, don’t bottle them up! Talk about them to the one whom you trust the most.
Tip # 2.Don’t Try to do it All. Keep in mind that being a human, you have certain limitations, physical, mental and emotional. Don’t take the full responsibility on your shoulders and over estimate yourself. Do acknowledge you limitations and help as much as you can with ease. Seek help from other family members and friends n if needed from professionals too. Without any help and support you‘ll burn out..
Tip # 3. Make a schedule. With your other family members, make a schedule of the duties performed by every one, as to take care of any one at home is a shared responsibility. Discuss each other’s expertise. If any one is capable if any one is capable if doing certain thing, assign that task to him or her. Like if, some one is good at using the internet, ask him to search for good professional help that is available and further knowledge on the disease and so on.
Tip # 4. Attend to your needs as well. To make your capacities available for the care receiver, find out the support and help form others, so that your interest and capacities remain intact while serving the needed one. For this, you need to address your own needs.
- Don’t over burden your self. Take a time to rest and feel relax.
- Start doing some exercise or walk which can rejuvenate you.
- Share your feelings, concerns and thoughts with others who is reliable for you. Don’t keep every thing in your head.
- Feed your spirit. No matter which religion you belong to, find out some time to pray and be connected with the supreme Power.
- If you are having any medical issues like High blood pressure or Diabetes, do keep up the follow up your follow ups and don’t miss your appointments.
- Keep up your social commitments and get some time to hang out with friends.
- Maintain the proper diet pattern. Don’t neglect your food intake.
- Find out some thing which makes you feel happy and cheered up.
- Avoid any mind altering substances to sleep or to reduce the stress. Always share them with others.
- If you are getting feeling upset, angry, anxious or tired, seek consultation.