Share the care - Follow these 7 caregiver rules

Share the care - Follow these 7 caregiver rules

Recent research has revealed that many of the major health issues that we experience as caregivers, can be directly attributed to the burdens and stresses that our caregiving duties demand.

The role and responsibilities of a caregiver can be very rewarding but taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do for the person you’re taking care of.

It’s been noted that on average, stress levels are higher and more medications are taken by caregivers than by the average person not involved in caregiving. Caregivers experiencing higher levels of stress are also less likely to take proper care of themselves, whether that means proper nutrition, exercise, or visiting their doctor regularly1.

The role and responsibilities of a caregiver can be very rewarding but taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do for the person you’re taking care of.

The following seven truths, or 7 caregiving rules, should help caregivers like you “Share The Care” to preserve your own well-being and prevent caregiver burnout and stress.

7 Rules of Caregiving

Scroll to the bottom to see our 7 Rules of Caregiving Infographic!

Caregiving Rule #1: View caregiving in a positive light!

Be prepared for the fact that caregiving may take up a lot of your time and energy but looking for the silver lining may help you view this experience in a positive light. This may be an opportunity to build a new and deeper relationship with the person you are caring for.

Caregiving Rule #2: It’s okay to say no!

Don’t be afraid to say no when you have your own plans; your schedule won’t allow for one more item on your to-do list, or you just don’t want to take on this request. Yes, it is okay to say no sometimes.

Caregiving Rule #3: If you need help, ask for it!

This point can’t be stressed enough. Family members and friends are often very happy to assist but don’t know where to start. By being specific in asking for their help, you may actually help relieve any guilt that they may be feeling.

Caregiving Rule #4: Take time to take care of yourself every day, no matter what!

Taking time for yourself will allow you to be a better caregiver. It is important that you have time to sleep, see to your own medical needs, and maintain your own health by spending time doing things that you enjoy and keeping fit2.

Caregiving Rule #5: Try to be aware of your own limitations!

Learn about how to recognize the signs of stress to develop strategies you can use to manage it.

Caregiving Rule #6: Seek out and accept support!

You might find it helpful to seek out and talk to others who have been through what you are going through. Community organizations can also provide some of the help you need. They are a valuable resource and source of support for caregivers like you. Elizz Caregiver Coaches are also available to offer confidential support and action plans for building your confidence and skills as a caregiver.

Caregiving Rule #7: Keep communications open!

Be aware that the challenges and emotions experienced during a time of illness can easily affect relationships between family members. Try to take steps early on to keep communication open and constructive.

rules for caregivers infographic

Be sure to check out the Elizz Pinterest Board created just for caregivers for other great resources.

1 Onega L. (2008). Helping those who help others: The Modified Caregiver Strain Index. American Journal of Nursing. Vol 108(9). Pp: 62-69.

2 Schumacher, K., Beck, C., & Marren, J. (2006). Family caregivers: caring for older adults, working with their families. American Journal of Nursing, 106(8), 40.

 

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