By: Nazli Mohideen
Generally speaking, there are two types of caregivers: family and professional. Despite the name, family caregivers are not always blood-related. Sometimes, they are relatives, neighbors, or friends who look after someone usually due to disease or disability. Professional caregivers, on the other hand, are people who care for others in nursing homes or assisted living facilities as their job.
As a caregiver, common responsibilities include helping with personal care, grocery shopping, medication reminders, cleaning, laundry, meal preparation, financial planning, and more. Beyond this, caregivers also provide emotional support and company.
Being a caregiver, however, can become difficult, especially if someone is serving as a caregiver long-term. Luckily, there are multiple ways to stop judging oneself as a caregiver.
One way is to stop thinking negatively of the situation. Often, caregivers feel as though they are not doing enough for who they are looking after, when in all actuality, they too are simply doing the best they can.
Former caregivers suggest keeping what they call a “success journal,” a place where caregivers can write down and remember positive moments from their day no matter how small they may seem. This can easily serve as motivation during the especially hard days as a caregiver.
Another way in which caregivers can stop judging themselves includes talking to and seeking support from other caregivers. Through this, caregivers are able to share both their individual experiences and common struggles. There are plenty of online blogs and support groups where caregivers can do so.
Additionally, it is important for caregivers to recognize their limits and take breaks when necessary. Being someone’s sole caregiver, whether they are professional or not, can feel overwhelming and even exhausting at times. To provide the best care possible, caregivers need to look after themselves, too, even if this means taking a step away for a while.
By: Nazli Mohideen