Anyone who finds themselves suddenly thrust into the role of primary caregiver for an ailing spouse can be overwhelmed by the constant attention and care necessary on a daily basis in caring for your mate. This is particularly true for disabled spouses who can do little or nothing for themselves, and require help for even basic functions like washing, eating, and bathroom needs.
In such cases, it often happens that the care-giving spouse has little or no time to himself or herself, and this can quickly lead to frustration, resentment, and over a period of time, even burnout. Before that stage is reached, it is advisable to build practices into the daily routine that can be used to maintain sanity – after all, a burned-out care-giver can’t really be much help to anyone.
Try to maintain a positive attitude
An upbeat attitude for yourself and the person you’re caring for are of utmost importance. While this is admittedly difficult to maintain, even under stress-free circumstances, it is something that should be adopted to the greatest extent possible to prevent an overall negative attitude from creeping in when caring for your loved one.
Include down time
Taking time out for yourself is extremely important, even if this only amounts to a few minutes each day. There are always times this can be scheduled, for instance when your spouse takes a nap, or is engaged watching television or reading a book. When it does happen, use this time to best advantage – clear your head and think about anything else but care-giving. Some possibilities might be taking a walk, reading a book, listening to music, or even meditating.
Get help from friends and relatives
Soliciting help from friends and relatives is nothing to be embarrassed about, and is a wise strategy for helping to avoid fatigue in caring for your spouse. Perhaps on specific days sons, daughters, or others can assist in care-giving to lessen your personal burden. Lacking any of these options, support groups may be another possibility for providing at least temporary assistance, and a broadening of the support network.
Take care of yourself too
Never allow your own health to suffer while you are tending to the health of your spouse. This means making sure your diet is a healthy one, that you get enough exercise to stay healthy and reduce stress, and that you sleep well at night so you don’t start the next day frazzled.
Try to remain receptive to emotional intimacy when caring for your spouse, since that might be one of their greatest needs. Think about which aspects of daily care cause you to be frustrated, indifferent, or even angry, and recognize them for the emotional triggers they are. Manage these so they don’t interfere with care-giving, and so that you can maintain a positive relationship with your loved one.
Home care in Phoenix
Providing constant care for a loved one is not easy, but it doesn’t have to signal the end of your own active, personal life. Home health care in Phoenix is here if you’re in need of any extra assistance, even if for those tasks that trigger the Hulk inside you. We provide a variety of non-medical and medical services which can be combined into a custom care plan for you. Give us a call, and we can send someone to your home for a free consultation. In the meantime, check out the caring.com wellness center.