There are different types of caregivers. Some are family members, while others are friends or hired help. Every situation is different and there are different ways to give care.
Caregiving can mean helping with day-to-day activities such as doctor visits, preparing food or providing physical assistance with activities of daily living. It can also happen from long distance. You may have to coordinate care and service for your loved one by phone. Caregiving can also mean giving emotional and spiritual support. Talking, listening, and just being there are some of the most important things a caregiver can do.
Adjusting to being a caregiver
You may find yourself in a new role as a caregiver. It may be in a way in which you haven’t had much experience, or in a way that feels more intense. Whatever your roles are now, accepting the changes may be tough. It’s very common to feel confused and stressed at times. You may also feel sad, afraid, angry, alone, anxious, and worried. It may feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster ride.
Ways to cope
- Recognize that all of your feelings exist and having them is normal and appropriate.
- Try to give yourself time to understand and work through a range of emotions, if you need help you may want to consider counseling.
- Let go of mistakes – you can’t be perfect.
- Consider respite help to give you a break
- When friends ask to help, delegate a simple task such as making meals or shopping.
- Focus on the things you feel are worth your time and energy
- Forgive yourself
- Make time for yourself – find comfort, connect with others, look for the positive, let yourself laugh, write in a journal, exercise, take care of your health.