Being a caregiver is never an easy feat. It’s a long term commitment that comes with watching someone you love age with a disease known to change the person you once knew, all while you juggle various roles and responsibilities to make sure your loved one is still being provided for. Some days, it feels as though the weight of the world is falling right on your shoulders.
We know your plate is full and that is why we’re here – to ease some of the burden for you and provide you with the tools, resources, and support needed to ensure both you and your loved one are living a life full of meaning and purpose. This is a journey you need not walk alone and, even during some of the hardest trials, there is still joy to be found in caregiving.
Let us help you find it.
Take Time For You
Finding joy in caregiving starts with finding the time to take care of you. Being a caregiver can sometimes be a thankless job. The list of responsibilities often seems never ending when putting your all into providing constant care and comfort to someone you love deeply as you watch them change through the progression of a disease like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
There’s an immense amount of pressure placed on caregivers, especially knowing it’s a role that requires you to wear many hats — often more than one at the same time.
Settling into a routine can make things more simplistic, both for you and your loved one. But it is also important to take note when the constant hustle and bustle has begun to strip away at the opportunity to take care of someone who matters equally as much – yourself.
It’s sometimes easier said than done when it comes to setting aside downtime to do the things that calm your mind and bring joy to your heart. Sitting down to read a chapter in your favorite book or getting outside the house for a coffee date seems like nonsense when you know you have a long list of responsibilities already waiting for you.
Not to mention the guilt that comes creeping into the corners of your mind when you start to step away from your role as a caregiver in hopes of finding a moment to reboot.
Reckoning with Reckoning with guilt is a difficult thing to do, but you have to remember that, in order to take care of others, you must be able to take care of yourself first. Caregiving is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting, making the risks of burnout that much greater.
Be kind to yourself. Know, first and foremost, that it is okay to carve out time to put your needs first and do the things that will give you the chance to reconnect and recharge. Frustration and negativity have a cruel way of spreading to those around you, but your loved one can find happiness and endearment, themselves, when they share in your radiation of positivity and joy.
So, take a walk in the park and breathe in that fresh air. Curl up with your favorite show and let your mind rest a minute. Get together with your support system and talk about what is weighing heavy on your shoulders lately.
These things are okay to do. They need to be done. Your days are filled with around-the-clock caregiving responsibilities. It’s time to care for you, too.