At some point in our lives, many of us will take care of our loved ones either due to disease, disability, or old age.
Depending on the situation, the responsibility may be short-lived or long-term. While being a caregiver is rewarding, it comes with its fair share of challenges and stress. It is not surprising that many caregivers are prone to burnout.
With that in mind, here are some resources that offer advice on how to lead a balanced life to help you cope with the demands that come with being a caregiver.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
You can download forms and publications on the Center’s official website for enrollment. You can also access a tool that allows you to compare homes, based on the CMS rating system.
The Center for Medicare Advocacy
Here, you can get comprehensive information regarding various Medicare covers, how to register, and if need be, how to appeal a denial of claims and other abuses.
The National Alliance for Caregiving
This is a coalition of organizations that offer resources for caregivers and professionals. The information provided here revolves around research, legislation, and public policy. As a caregiver, you can access review books and videos as well as links to other resources.
Previously known as the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, Leading Age is an association of non-profiting homes, adult day care centers, assisted living centers and continuing retirement communities. Leading Age offers consumer information and senior housing.
National Association of Professional Geriatric Managers
This service provides a search location for geriatric care managers as long as they meet the associations’ guidelines. There is also guidance on whether the services offered would beneficial based on individual circumstances.
How to Cope with Stress of Giving Care
Below are some tips that will help you keep stress in check as a caregiver:
- Connect with friends to keep negative emotions at bay
- Put your physical needs first. Eat healthy meals and do not indulge in excessive drinking or smoking
- Get enough sleep
- Get in touch with your community
- Take a break once in a while. Create enough time to relax and to engage in your hobbies, such as listening to music or reading
- Accept that you need help as well. For instance, someone may pick up groceries or cook for you
- Focus on what you can provide, not what you can’t, to avoid burnout
…Don’t Forget to Keep your Patient Comfortable
See, taking care of your old, ailing mother is challenging, especially if you don’t have the time. Even then, it is essential to make sure that your patient remains comfortable at all times. That way, you can help him/her recover quickly. Here are a few tips;
Get a Mattress Pad
Your patient needs to sleep to allow the body to relax and by extension, ease the intensity of suffering. Consider investing in a mattress pad for a hospital bed if the person gets admitted. The idea is to ensure that the patient has a soft, adequately padded place to rest.
Remember, hospital beds aren’t the most comfortable. On that note, visit MyMatressPads to view a collection of the best mattress pads for hospital beds and why you should get one for your sick patient.
Be Mindful of the Diet
What goes through your patient’s mouth is essential. You should, therefore, get foods that will replenish the body with “healing” nutrients. Make sure that the person feeds on fruits and veggies. You may consider hiring a dietitian if your budget allows.
Talk to the Patient
You need to make your old mother or disabled child feel love. Be sure to create enough time to talk to them. Encourage the sick person and take them for counseling if they’re dealing with mental issues. Think of it as a way of ensuring that the person doesn’t fall into depression.
Even though taking care of old or disabled family members is time-consuming, you can get it done without getting stressed. You only need to know where to get help and how to use the free information available around and from the organizations mentioned above.