At Castle Homecare, we understand that caring for a loved one can be one of the most rewarding things you can ever do, but it can also be one of the most challenging. Caring for an elderly relative involves many different skills and on occasion, a good deal of patience.
An important factor that often gets overlooked in the home care environment, is the wellbeing of the carer themselves. If the person giving the care gets ill or ‘run down’, then it will impact on the care your loved one will receive, so it’s important that the carer looks after themselves as much as they can.
Prioritise Your Wellbeing
As a carer of an elderly relative, you may, more often than not, prioritise the needs of the person being cared for over your own. It’s only natural and keeping them safe and looked after is what you’re there for, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your own health.
The first and most important step you can take is to put your own well being amongst your priorities. I might feel a little selfish at first, but it’s with both yours and your loved one’s best interests at heart.
Making the most of spare time you have during the course of your daily routine can make a big difference to how you feel overall. Using that time to practice guided meditation is a wonderful way to significantly improve your state of mind, reduce stress and improve your concentration levels.
There are many guided meditation CDs for use at home available to buy and with an improved sense of perspective and a relaxed mind, you’re better able to fulfill your responsibilities.
Setting aside a time-slot for yourself each morning, during which you tend to your own spiritual, physical and mental wellness, is a great way to start the day. Routines aren’t just there for those being cared for and can have a profound effect on a carer’s state of mind.
Daily Self-Care Log
Having a full day can naturally lead to you forgetting to look after yourself and a good way to combat this, is to create and maintain a daily self care log. Take 5 minutes to write down a list of things that make you happy and try and do something from your list every day. They don’t have to cost money – they just have to make you happy.
Whether it is a walk in the park or a facial, doing something nice for yourself will lift your spirits and recharge you. The perfect antidote to those ‘stay at home’ blues.
There may be a point at which you might need some help and if this happens, it’s important to reach out to the professionals. There’s no shame in it and it doesn’t mean that you’ve ‘failed’ in any way. Everyone needs help sometimes.
Should you need assistance, you can call Castle HomeCare on 01 445 2268 for a friendly chat or visit our website www.castlehomecare.ie for more information.
Look after yourself and you’ll be much better equipped to care for your elderly relative. You may not feel like you need a break or something to put a spring in your step, but if you ignore yourself for too long, it can lead to problems further down the line.
So, take care of yourself. You deserve it!