Being a part-time or full-time carer for a person you live with or a loved one can end up taking a toll on not only you but also your general wellbeing and relationships. When you are a carer, you can easily get wrapped up in the life of the person you are taking care of to a point where you forget about yourself, which can be very bad for a couple of reasons. It is important to know more about coping with the challenges you face because it will help you become a better carer. That said a career as a carer is a very rewarding one, many chose this career path and enjoy a varied, fulfilling role, Charles Hunter Associates talk about the reasons people choose to work in care in this article.
The tips below will go a long way in helping you as a carer.
- Take things one step at a time
When you become a carer, you enter a world where even the strongest of people struggle. The new role can come all at once or gradually; either way, the responsibilities that will come your way can be overwhelming, especially when you have to think about the future, present, and the past. This can sound like a cliché, but it is going to prove helpful. When you take one day at a time, you will be able to deal with the feelings of being snowed under. You should put your focus on what is happening now and not in the future because it leaves you feeling more confident, in control, and ground.
- Being kind to yourself
It is not easy transitioning to a carer, and as mentioned before, even people who consider themselves to be strong tend to struggle. There will be days when you start feeling like you are not doing enough or have ‘off days’ – you are only a human after all and humans are bound to make mistakes. If you find yourself having these feelings, don’t worry because it is okay. There are some instances where the opinion of the doctor doesn’t work well for the person under your care, you should content if you need to, especially since you are the person who knows them best. You should feel confident in all you are doing and see setbacks and challenges as an opportunity to learn.
- Putting yourself first sometimes
It can be hard to look after yourself when you are spending a lot of time focusing on the person under your care. You will find yourself having a hard time creating some time for yourself during the day because you are focusing on others. It is important to do this because if you don’t take good care of yourself, then you will not be able to take good care of others. Your level of care might start suffering because you are always tired or worn out. This can be just taking an hour a two out of your day, or even twice a week. Use this time to sit down and relax and focus on anything else that is not related to what you have been doing the entire day. You can make it even more special by including a treat for yourself such as expensive chocolate or a hot bubble bath. You will be happy you created time for yourself because you will see a difference.
- Recognizing that you are a carer
When people become carers, they can often fail to detect the transition to this new role, and this can mean failing to know the magnitude of this change. Maybe they realize this when a big change like a spouse leaving their job because of an illness, that they start realizing that they have become a carer, instead of only being their partner. It can take you time to acknowledge and digest this, and the process can be rather turbulent for the people involved. It is understandable because there is a negative connotation that comes with being a caregiver and the predetermined life that follows. Adjusting to being a carer and getting a more positive outlook on life is important, and the best way of doing it is by talking to others whether it is the local care group, friends, or family members.
- Seeking expert advice
There is no one who is going to expect you to know everything about being a carer, especially if you have no past experience. There is a lot of information out there about care including for the specific condition suffered by the person under your car. This is why it is impossible for someone to know everything. If you finding it hard to know how to care the right way, then consider talking to social services. There are online forums, helplines, and local support groups that you can seek advice from, and they will be happy to help you out. If you have been caring for some time and have started to notice more pressure, then it might be a good idea to hire a visiting carer or a live-in carer.
- Receiving a full assessment
If you become a carer, you might notice that the home has not been adapted to ease the day-to-day life of a loved one, especially for those caring in a family home. When you receive a full assessment, you will be able to get help in situations where a person you are caring for needs a little more help. There is a Comprehensive Needs Assessment you can get from the local authority, and this can include Financial Assessment. This will ensure you are going to get the help you need. The small changes might be a lot of help when it is put in action.
- Not doing it alone
When you are a carer, you will have to deal with the ups and downs. There is a lot of responsibility you have to deal with while living your life too. If you feel like you need to ask questions or offload your worries to another person, don’t hesitate. When you have a clear and calm mind, you will have an easier time in the long run. A problem shared is a problem halved.