Caring for a senior can be enormously challenging, and many carers experience negative emotions such as guilt when thinking about how they can balance their life as a carer with their own needs. However, for yourself, and to ensure that you are able to give your senior the best care possible, it is important that you also make time to look after yourself as well.
Know When to Get Help
Although many people acting as carers may feel a sense of guilt, as if they have let their loved one down over receiving help from others, it is important for both you and the person that you are caring for that you know when to get help. If your senior’s condition has become too difficult for you to cope with, it is important that you make plans for your loved one, such as considering professional home care or care homes which specialise in your loved one’s condition. For instance, https://www.bristolcarehome.co.uk provides respite care for those with dementia and other health conditions.
Find Support Groups
As a carer, it is important that you reach out when you are struggling, and support groups are one of the best ways in which you can do this. Support groups allow you to discuss your situation and get advice and encouragement from others in the same situation as yourself, allowing you to receive a break from your caring duties while getting to know other people who care for loved ones on a daily basis too.
Take Days Off
It is important that you are able to take time for yourself when you care for someone else, and you should always try to take regular days off, if possible. If you have family nearby, you should discuss with them the viability of creating a care timetable between you, which can ensure that you are able to share out your caring duties equally- or even just get time to spend with your friends and family, or catch up on a favourite hobby. Days off can often be filled with home chores so consider treating yourself to a home cleaning service, to lessen the load.
Look For Charitable Organisations
If you are struggling financially from being a carer ( for instance, if you are unable to work), there are many charitable organisations for carers that can provide you with the support you need to continue caring for your loved one without the stress of worrying about your finances. You may also be able to get financial support from the government.
Talk to a Doctor
If caring is having a negative effect on your mental health, or you believe that you are showing signs of mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, you should make an appointment with your local GP as soon as possible. They will be able to ensure that you receive the help that you need to improve your mental health, through the use of talking therapies like counselling, support groups, and even medication.
Look After Your Needs
What’s more, it is vital that you look after your own needs when you are a carer. This includes engaging in a regular exercise regime and eating regularly and healthily. Not only will this help you to improve your own health and energy levels, and reduce the likelihood of mental illness, but it will also ensure that you can give the best care possible to your loved one in need.