November is a month that celebrates many events like voting, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving and even family caregivers. Yes every November family caregivers are reflected upon and we would like to take a moment to acknowledge all the sacrifices and help they provide for those that need assistance.
And while November may be the official month to recognize the a caregiver, every month–and every day–is one in which they make a difference. The emotional and physical demands involved with caregiving can strain even the most resilient person. Therefore it’s very important to take advantage of available help and support whenever possible. The healthier a caregiver is the better able they are to support others.
Here are 10 caregiver survival tips we’d like to share with you
Learn to accept help – It’s ok to ask others for help, it can be as simple as having someone help pick up the groceries.
Be Kind to Yourself – Take at least 20 minutes a day to be kind to yourself, enjoy a cup of tea, read a magazine or just sit back and the moment.
Know Yourself – Choosing to take charge of your life means recognizing your own strengths and limitations.
There is no perfect caregiver – Remember there is no “perfect” caregiver and remind yourself frequently that you’re doing the best you can at any given time. Your house does not have to be perfect, and no one will care if you eat leftovers three days in a row. And you don’t have to feel guilty about asking for help.
Get connected with resources – Research and enlist help from organizations such as local hospitals, the Red Cross and the Alzheimer’s Association who may offer classes on caregiving.
Join a support group – A support group can be a great source for encouragement and advice from others in similar situations. It can also be a good place to make new friends.
Keep a Positive Attitude – Perhaps the most important choice you have to make is how you are going to approach life going forward. Of course keeping a positive attitude is immeasurable! Your decision will set the stage for everything else you do.
Don’t forget your friends – Make an effort to stay physically an emotionally connected with your family and friends. It’s ok to set aside time for socializing. When possible,
make plans to get out of the house.
Make sure you are health – As the caregiver you are often overlooked when it comes to your personal health. Visit your doctor annually and get recommended immunizations and screenings. Make sure to tell your doctor that you’re a caregiver.
Be Proactive – Knowing yourself and understanding the circumstances that surround you is a start, but taking charge of your life shouldn’t end there. Looking ahead and plan to the extent that you can, looking to prevent crises rather than letting them happen.
Having a good attitude, staying connected to the community, understanding your strengths and weaknesses, being proactive, and gathering information are just a few of the ways you can begin to take charge of your life. It’s largely about recognizing that you do have choices and making the ones most likely to support you in your caregiving role. To learn more about caregiving visit www.thefamilycaregiver.org.