Caregiving for a loved one can feel overwhelming, especially when you need additional resources to carry out tasks. You may be feeling that there’s too much work and not enough time. However, you don’t always have to put on a brave face, especially when your mental and physical health is at risk. Remember, the best care comes from those who also care for themselves. Here are some caregiving tips when resources are stretched thin.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Caregiving can be very rewarding, but it also involves a lot of demands and long-term challenges. When caregiver stress is left unchecked, it can take a toll until the individual is mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. And it may ultimately lead to the suffering of both you and the person you care for.
There will be times when you cannot do it all. Ask for help from family and friends who may be able to take over your responsibilities for a day or more so you can recharge. People in the community may be able to help too. For other errands, tap into services that can help with groceries, cleaning, mowing the lawn, delivering food, cooking meals, and other tasks that will allow you to focus on primary caregiving.
Turn to technology
There is plenty of existing technology that was designed to make caregivers’ jobs easier, such as smartphone apps, monitoring systems, GPS-enabled tracking, and emergency alert systems. Health tracking apps can be game changers as they capture and analyze vitals such as heart rate, blood pressure, and other biometrics. Other technology allows you to connect with healthcare services remotely and save you a trip to a physical clinic.
Don’t isolate yourself once you feel burdened, guilty, and overworked. It can be easy to spiral into negative emotions and feel inadequate. Don’t let these feelings overwhelm you to the point that you feel ashamed to open up to others. Talk to your close friends and family members about your struggles. Emotional support can be empowering. They may also be able to provide solutions.
More people relate to you than you realize. Ask your loved one’s doctor to connect you with other primary caregivers. Being part of a community that experiences the same struggles can support you through times when you feel lost, confused, and frustrated. Not only will they be able to provide emotional support, but they may be able to recommend tools and services that help you with your responsibilities and ease the burden. People who have been caregiving for a long time have established best practices and are likely willing to share them with others.
Contact Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology today for more caregiving resources.