During this unprecedented time, family caregivers are working overtime to take care of loved ones. It is easy to get into survival mode and forget all about self-care.
The following is a list of things to remember:
- Help yourself before you help others. Just like on an airplane, put on your own oxygen mask first!
- Identify your fear barriers to self-care. For example, do you have trouble asking for help yourself?
- Communicate constructively. Use I statements, be clear and specific, and be a good listener to others.
- ASK FOR HELP! Accept help. A neighbor could give you a break by sitting with the person you care for as they enjoy the afternoon sun. A relative could help fill out insurance forms.
- Attend to your own healthcare needs. Talk to a physician about your own health. Build a partnership with him or her.
- Start to exercise. Even chores like sweeping or walking the dog can use muscle power.
- Identify and acknowledge your feelings. Seek emotional support from a counselor, pastor, or friend.
- Finally, remember to take respite time. Call a care giving agency such as Home Instead and ask about respite care.
Caregiver self-care is so important and will help the person you are caring for too.
Wendy Allison Beyer
West Portland/Lake Oswego