How to Thrive as a Caregiver
What makes a successful caregiver? Whether you have your degree in nursing, or lend a hand while providing care to sick family members or friends, there are a few key ways to be the best caregiver you can be.
Experts suggest that regardless of your skill level or professional background, you can be a successful caregiver by keeping the following in mind.
Caregiving is often a tedious, emotionally draining job. It can leave even the most optimistic people feeling dreary and depressed. The trick is to build up your own good attitude and avoid letting depression sink you. Some ways to maintain a positive attitude are to find humor in everyday life, feel compassion and empathy, and realize that no struggle is permanent. Talking to a therapist can also help people maintain healthy points of view.
Do you feel overwhelmed by your caregiving duties? Try taking a step back and focusing on organizing them. Truly great caregivers know how to organize their daily duties. Whether it’s with lists inside your phone, a paper and pencil, or a detailed day planner, building lists can help you keep track of everything that needs to be done. Some organizational experts recommend creating daily, weekly, and monthly lists to help separate duties.
By treating yourself as a member of the patient’s care team, you can help provide the best care for your patient. That involves learning about what issues or diseases the patient has, discussing best practices with other healthcare providers, and advocating for the patient’s needs to be met. By arming yourself with knowledge, you position yourself to provide your patient with the best care.
Ironically, many caregivers neglect their own needs. They are known for skipping meals, being dehydrated, and working even when ill. If this sounds like you, you need to take time for yourself. Relaxing enables you to become a more effective caregiver. So carve out time for a nice evening walk, spend time with a friend, or relax in the evening with a cup of hot tea. By forcing yourself to take time to recover, you can avoid stress and burnout.
Caregiving is a very complex and demanding role. Successful caregivers know that a positive attitude, organized planner, medical knowledge, and self-care are all important factors that contribute to their caregiving success.