When the people we love are afflicted with an illness or hardship, we want to be there for them and care for them as best we can; particularly when that person is somebody close to us such as a parent, sibling or child. Those that sacrificially cared for us when we were younger, sometimes become the people that now deeply rely on us and cannot get through the day without assistance. How can one find a balance between caring for loved ones and not forgetting about oneself? There are certain things you can do to establish the best solution for your loved one and yourself. The first decision one needs to make is if you want to be responsible for all of their care—which realistically could often be a full-time position—or if you want somebody to share in helping you to care for your loved one.One major benefit of hiring a care worker to help your loved one with the work that needs to be done around their home and with the personal care they need will give you the freedom to get your own work done and then spend the time you have with your loved one doing things you both enjoy.
However, if you do decide to take on all the care yourself, it is important to fully understand what care they need, and also how to not neglect yourself. Here are some tips Cera recommends below:
- Maintain good communication with the doctor
Accompany the person you are caring for to the doctor and ask them for a thorough explanation of the care your loved one needs e.g. what should they be able to do themselves, and what are the things you will need to help them with?
- Know your limits
Don’t try and do everything. You won’t be able to! It might be more time and cost-efficient to get help for some things. For example, it may be cheaper and more effective for you to get some help (professional or just an extra set of hands) with the household cleaning. You will then be able to spend that time on work, deducting 2 hours pay for a cleaner from your 2 hours pay for work, might leave you with more than taking the time off to do it yourself. Or, if your loved one needs someone to talk to, perhaps a therapist would be a good idea than them sharing everything with only you.
- Plan time for yourself
We prioritise and plan dinners, nights out or weekend trips with family and note them in our calendars. Why not do the same for yourself? Will you have a busy week? Then make sure to schedule an evening of me-time into your calendar.
- Don’t always say yes
Don’t allow the person you are caring for to always make you feel sorry for them. It is easy, particularly in family settings, to get used to somebody caring for you and potentially take advantage of your kindness. Make sure you don’t get pushed into the position of doing practical things that your loved one could be doing for themselves. It’s not good for either of you, as it lessens your loved one’s ability to be independent and their physical and mental faculties won’t be exercised as they should be.
Even when taking these precautions and setting boundaries, it is still possible to get tired. If you feel like it’s all too much and are in a need of a break, then you could also opt for temporary home care; his type of care is known as respite care. A respite care worker will take over your role for any amount of time that you need, from a few hours to a week or even more. You can use this time to recharge, recalibrate or take care of any other responsibilities you may have, and then you can return to caring for your loved one when you’re well rested again.
At Cera, we offer both long-term elderly care and shorter term respite care. We have highly trained care workers that will ensure that your loved one is properly looked after and taken care of. Visit ceracare.co.uk for more information on how we could best help, or call us at 020 3034 4784 to speak to our team about how Cera could help you in your care needs.