This is a guest post by Alisha Webb.
Taking care of sick person in the family can be a nightmare. If it’s hard on the sick person to face so much suffering, it’s equally hard on you to be giving constant care day after day, as it can zap you of all energy and numb your senses. Inasmuch you love the person you are attending on, you need your space and time to reinvigorate your own biological batteries.
When you are taking care of a loved one who is sick, your role as a caregiver calls for immense responsibilities, a lot of which can be unfamiliar or unnerving to you at first. There are times when you could feel alone and dispassionate about the entire ordeal.
At the same time, caregiving has its rewarding moments too. The sufferer could be your parent, your spouse, or one of your children. The acknowledgment and gratitude conveyed through the eyes of the sick can be extremely touching and gratifying. Even in the toughest circumstances, there are certain things that you can try to get back your rhythm and vigour to make things easy for you as well as the sick person.
Ironically, with the incredible advancements in the field of health, medical facilities, and improvement in life spans, there are more chronically sick people who need constant care and attention. There is also no need to panic if you are new to the task of tending to the sick. With proper planning and support from the family, you can be a good caregiver without having to sacrifice too much in the bargain.
Learn about the Affliction
To start with, try to get to know as much as you can about the sickness of the person you are caring for. The more details you know about the illness, the easier it will be for you and you will be able to discharge your duties in a quicker and efficient manner. Enlist the help of some more members in the family to share your responsibility. It’s appropriate you follow all the instructions of the physician, but pay heed to your own instincts too when there is a need, since your actions are aimed at the comfort of the suffering.
If you can afford it, use the help of technology to reduce your physical effort and make sure that the sick person is able to handle certain things independently. Do not go overboard and handle everything on your own. Have a realistic limit and let everyone around you know how far you can go and no more beyond that. Each one of us has an elasticity limit and cannot hope to function beyond that.
Don’t Suffer in Silence
If you are trained in the art of residential care for the ailing, you may not find the task gruelling or intimidating. However, there are times when we are overcome with anger, anxiety, worry, guilt and grief while taking care of the sick member of the family. All these emotions can play havoc on our mental strength and physical health. Do not keep your emotions to yourself and suffer silently. Choose a person you can confide in. He or she could be within the family or outside. Do not worry. Just pour out your heart once in a while and feel better for it. You will be surprised how your act can energize you and you will be ready to start again the next morning! There are some people who find solace when they visit a temple or a church or spend some quiet moments in a park or by the seaside. There are some more that would rather spend some fun moments with their friends and feel invigorated.
These are the moments when you will discover true friends and confidantes. Do not hesitate to ask for help if you need assistance in certain areas of your care giving responsibility. You could be surprised by the number of people who would be willing to lend you a helping hand. After all, every family undergoes such moments and you will find an opportunity to repay their kindness, sometime in future.
Do not keep on working nonstop, but do not grumble too often or curse your fate. Learn to relax daily for a few moments when the sick person is resting. Make a diary note of your daily experiences and feelings. This will lighten your heart and mind, while giving you an opportunity to be literally expressive! Do not keep gloating, or indulge in self-pity. Instead, learn to pray, meditate, read more often and pursue hobbies that are close to your heart. Catch up on your lost sleep whenever you can. You must eat well and exercise well too. Stay away from alcohol, drugs or such habits that could make you unhealthy or prove detrimental to your day to day activities.
Follow the above guidelines and notice the difference they make to your overall health and bearing. After all, you need to be healthy first in order to attend to the ailing.
Author Bio: Alisha Webb is a British writer and content developer for Forest Healthcare who provide Nursing Homes and Residential care Homes for the Elderly.
- Caring for a senior image courtesy of MorgueFile
- Caregiving with a smile image courtesy of fairfaxcounty (Fairfax County)