If you have recently taken on the care of a loved one with a disability, you may well be daunted by the responsibility and the amount of work that will be involved. You will no doubt want to do the very best for them and give them everything that they need, but you will also have limitations as to the level of care and support that you can personally offer them.
Work To Your Strengths
Being honest to yourself about the situation is vital, and you need to know where your strengths and weaknesses lay. If you are unable to help out with a specific caregiving responsibility, then you should try and identify this early on and seek out help from others in the family, or from a professional body.
Understanding where your strengths as a carer lay are essential as you can use these to your advantage and find ways of bridging every situation. You may be great at giving emotional support and keeping your loved one feeling reassured and happy. This is an important aspect of care. You may be good at the practicalities of making sure that everything is in order and has been done. This too is significant and valuable skills to have.
Take A Break
Just because you are a caregiver does not mean that you don’t get to have feelings any more. It can be very emotionally demanding to look after another person, and it will take its toll from time-to-time. With this in mind, don’t try to deny yourself the feeling of exhaustion. If you need a break, you should take one. Find a professional carer with a person centred approach that can help you while you take some time for yourself. Rest and recovery are important to keep you healthy and happy.
If you need to find a respite centre, then do so. Check the care facility out together and make sure that you’re both happy with the choice. Be honest with the person that you are caring for and try your best to make them understand why you need a break. But be sure that you never make them feel uncomfortable or a burden. You will need to be sensitive to how they feel about the need to be looked after by you, and you should never forget their feelings within your dynamic.
Remember That You Have A Life
You also still have your own life, and it is crucial for you that you do not forget this fact. Take some time to do something that you enjoy as often as possible. Engage in your hobbies in your spare time, and try and spend time with friends so that you remain connected with who you are as opposed to just seeing yourself as someone who is there to support someone else.
This may seem unkind or selfish, but it is not. Looking after yourself is important as it will make you more able to take care of your loved one.