When speaking to family members who are caring for their loved one night after night, the theme repeated to me is: caregiving can be overwhelming and stressful.
Throughout my nursing career and through personal experience, I have come to realize that most of us will be caregivers for someone else at some point in our lives. Some of us may only need to assist our elderly parents with financial and health care decisions. Others may be required to coordinate medical appointments, manage medications and escort an ill friend to the doctor, while the rest of us may become the twenty-four hour caregiver for a bedridden spouse. In each instance, however, we will be the primary source of emotional or physical support for a dear friend or loved one.
Caregiving is like a house of playing cards. Your self-care is like the bottom of the house. If you’re not supported with a strong base of support from the bottom-up, it’s easier for you to cave in from the stress… and it all falls down. A base of sturdy support through positive emotional, physical and social health is more manageable for you to provide adequate assistance to loved ones and build on your role as caregiver. Like the house of cards, you need balance.
One way the Visiting Nurse Service of New York is attempting to reach caregivers is through a free educational and supportive newsletter. Your loved one doesn’t need to be a patient with VNSNY in order to receive this information, which includes practical tips on how to care for a friend or family member while finding the support you need for yourself. Self-care is important, too!
Sign up for the free newsletter here: www.vnsny.org/caringdelivered.
Also feel free to share some topics that you would like to see in the newsletter in the comment section below.
Take care of yourself!
i am a caregiver for three people. my mom, my husband, and my stepfather. it is hard to share yourself between three people but i have no other sibling to help me out. i lost all three of my brothers several years ago so care giving fell in my lap.
my mom was able to receive medicaid so this helped for her with home health and ada. unfortunatly, her hours are being cut, so her services will drop from 67hrs to 42hrs. i don’t know how i can continue to take care of her at home if i can’t continue with thed hrs she is receiving t this time. i’m at the risk of loosing valuble help because the workers will be seeking employment elsewhere.
the government makes cut in all the wrong places. my mom is 84yrs. old and being placed in a nursing home will surely be the death of her. but i don’t think anyone would care. it’s sad that the ones to suffer is our elderly. a country that is full of opportunity–just not for our elders.
You certainly have a full plate! I’m sorry to hear about the cut in hours. It sounds like you are being the best caregiver you can be in this situation. I encourage you to take things one moment at a time, continue to be vocal about your needs keeping your loved ones’ safety in mind. I really appreciate your comment and encourage more individuals to share their story. Healthcare providers, government, physicians and others need to hear about the difficulties caregivers are facing daily.