For the family caregivers out there who are putting aside their personal and professional lives for the care of a loved one, rest and recognition may be very limited. Devoting hours of the entire day--and for some of you, entire weekends--to focus on the care of another over yourself is undoubtedly tiring. And many others around you may not understand the extent to which you physically and emotional sacrifice your lifestyle in support of another. Sometimes, you may feel alone, struggling to care for yourself, your family, your professional life, and for the loved one who needs the most care.
But family caregiving is not a solitary job. Even if it may seem like there is only one, “appointed” person who is doing all of the caregiving, it really is the power and the support of others that can truly help a family caregiver overcome the difficulty and struggle of caring for a loved one.
Carrie Steckl of Chicago Now understands the struggles of Family Caregivers and offers 4 valuable pieces of advice to help family caregivers get others involved in the care of a loved one:
1. Have a family meeting to communicate the struggles and difficulties associated with family caregiving.
2. Bring family to a support group to help them hear other family caregivers’ personal stories so that they are exposed to different perspectives of family caregivers.
3. Ask them for help so that you can take some time to rest from your family caregiving duties.
4. Never, ever question your worth as a caregiver, even if others don’t fully understand the importance of your duty as a family caretaker.
Whether or not family support is available, the best piece of advice that Steckl offers is to ask for help. It is never a bad idea to ask for help, especially when you know when you need it the most. And if support from family or those around you is limited, you should always know that home care is always a viable option for respite.
Not only do home care agencies and providers offer respite care throughout different hours of the day, but they may also have additional home care software and home care system services to help ease the strain and stress of caregiving.
For example, an agency provider with a reliable home care software or home care system is able to monitor that status of a loved throughout the day by monitoring caregiver updates. This allows the agency to ensure that your loved one is receiving the best possible care so that you can rest knowing that your loved one is being cared for by both an on-site caregiver and an off-site administrative healthcare staff. In other words, you would be getting double the support through one agency provider’s home care system.
In addition to allowing agency administrators to track updates of a loved one through a home care software or home care system solution, you yourself would be able to monitor caregiving updates away from your loved one’s home. Not only does this give you an opportunity to take some personal time away from caregiving, but it also allows you to always stay connected to your loved one through the home care software system.
Asking for help is never an easy thing to do. But considering the emotional strain and time sacrificed that is involved with family caregiving, you know that you cannot go at this alone. As Steckl advises--seek help and support from other family members by communicating with them and helping them understand why you need their help.
However, we would also recommend connecting with a local agency that specializes in home care and that offers the additional services above within their home care software or home care system. Don’t you think it’s about time to get the rest that you deserve?