6 Tips for the Caregiver's Heart
By Robin Provost, At Home Houston
When our loved ones need more support it’s natural for us to want to take care of all of their needs. However, husbands, wives, children and family members who find themselves caring for someone with memory loss or other illness can become quickly overwhelmed. It’s important to protect your own heart and take some advice from those who have been in the same position.
1. It’s normal to worry about your loved one’s condition when you don’t understand much about the illness. Therefore, it’s essential for you to seek for more information, knowledge and understanding. When you gain knowledge, you are able to turn your worry into action that helps yourself and your loved one.
Quote for the heart: “When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.” – Pauline R. Kezer
2. Have you ever noticed that your loved one may get irritated and lose their temper easily? Don’t take it personally. It’s natural for someone who is losing their memory and ability to be independent to feel frustration and anger. Many times you are the one they lash out at, because they know you love them and they feel safe expressing their frustration to you. In these difficult moments, try to understand them and give them more love and support.
Quote for the heart: “Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I really need it.” – Swedish Proverb
3. When you bottle up your stress and worries it does not help anyone. It’s better to talk out your feelings to your family, friends, support groups…or your Silverado associate. Tell us what you’re going through; we are always willing to listen. Talk it out! You can also write down your feelings in a diary. Release your negative emotions so you can move on.
Quote for the heart: “Have a good cry, wash out your heart. If you keep it inside it’ll tear you apart. Sometimes you lose, but you’re gonna win if you just hang in.” – Dr. Hook
4. Taking care of a loved one can be a heavy burden especially when you have to support your loved one emotionally and financially. You will feel more relief when responsibilities and tasks are shared. Silverado At Home will come along side you and help in whatever way you need. Ask for help!
Quote for the heart: “All of us, at certain moments of our lives,
need to take advice and to receive help from other people.”
– Alexis Carrel
5. We tend to ignore ourselves when we place our loved one’s health as our top priority. But how do we take care of them when we’re not in good condition? Take care of yourself! Always remember to eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep and exercise. Stay socially active with your family and friends as much as possible so you will not feel lonely or left out.
Quote for the heart: “Make your own recovery the first priority
in your life”. – Robin Norwood
6. You are not a superhero. Accept yourself when you fail to manage everything well. Know that you’ve done your best. Take a breath, appreciate and praise yourself for the effort and care you have given to your loved one. Encourage yourself! You’ve done a great job! Bravo!
Quote for the heart: “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A. A. Milne