You need to look after yourself as well as the person you’re caring for. You can speak to your GP, and discuss what support you and the person you care for need.
In order for you to care the best way you can, you need to be in the best health you can be. Focus on your health and wellbeing and devise a plan for staying healthy. Eat well, socialise, stay connected, learn, protect yourself, sleep well and take time out for yourself.
Surround yourself with support
Even if you don’t feel you need any support right now, it’s still a great idea to learn where and when to access it if you need in the future. Remember, you are the foundations for your loved ones wellbeing, so it’s important to stay strong and have support in place for yourself.
Dealing with guilt
A lot of carers will experience feelings of guilt at one time or another. This is normal, but you must remember, you are not a ‘rescuer’ and can’t fix all problems and be ‘the cure’. You’re doing the best you can and some things will be outside of your control. Equally, some carers will from time to time, experience feelings of resentment towards their cared-for person. Again, this is normal. However, if any of these feelings become overwhelming and increase in frequency and intensity, it’s time to talk it over. Services like IAPT are really useful.
Take a break from caring
Taking regular breaks can help you to look after yourself and better support you in caring for someone.
Breaks from 15 minutes to have a cup of tea and sit down to a couple of weeks so you can go on holiday are a must have and not a luxury. If you don’t take time to recharge your batteries you can’t keep giving to others. Not all respite is residential either. Some respite services are delivered in your own home or by way of Day Care. Explore all options before making decisions and try mixing it up – one day Day Care and one week every three months residential care for example.