Here at FirstLight Home Care, we believe it takes an incredibly special person to be a caregiver. Patience, understanding, unconditional love and kindness to not just a loved one, but to others in need of care as well. It’s not easy being a caregiver; there are struggles emotionally, mentally and of course, at the end of the day, physically, you are exhausted. Whether you are caring for a loved one or for several others-it doesn’t matter. You are an extraordinary person.
You may be familiar with our very own Nurse Gina. With more than 40 years of experience as an RN, geriatric care manager and personal caregiver to her aunt and mother-in-law, Nurse Gina is an expert. When it comes to caregiving, there are five tips Nurse Gina says we should always keep in mind:
- Do your research; stay up-to-date on the best caregiving methods, practices and resources. Research and do your best to understand what your loved one or client is going through so you are able to better meet their needs.
- Have or get support. You are constantly caring for and meeting someone else’s needs, putting them before yourself. Caregivers need support too; they need their needs met at one point or another. Find a support group near you, (hospitals and many organizations, such as the Alzheimer Association, may have groups or be able to share information on groups in your area).
- Put your pride aside and ask for help. Caregiving for others, especially loved ones is extremely difficult physically, mentally and emotionally. You will need help at some point. Don’t be afraid to ask for it. The less stressed you are, the better you are able to serve and care for another.
- Don’t forget about your own health. Seeking a support group takes care of your emotional needs, but what about your physical and mental health? Find time to eat healthy, exercise and receive a satisfactory amount of sleep, as well as good quality sleep. The healthier you are and feel, the better you will be able to provide quality care for another.
- Stay organized. Maintaining an organized system or routine will help you from becoming overwhelmed. Track and log medications, eating habits, mood changes, changes in behavior, doctor visits and appointments, and all contact information for medical and emergency situations.
If you have any caregiving questions or concerns, Nurse Gina is here to help and guide you, and will maintain strict confidentiality. Ask Nurse Gina!