Michelle McCann, director of quality and risk at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Sewickley in Pennsylvania offers the following tips to caregivers tending to a loved one:
Take care of yourself. Neglecting your own needs can lead to serious physical or emotional problems as well as lead to caregiver burnout. It is important to invest in your own health and well-being.
Identify and reduce personal stress. Stress can lead to serious health complications. It is important for caregivers to recognize and manage their stress in order to reduce the impact of stress.
Don’t be afraid to speak up. Good communication can help prevent misunderstandings with others. Being clear and specific when requesting information helps us to stay focused on the important facts while reducing anger and blaming.
Appreciate your emotions. Feelings are normal in any situation. If negative emotions are not recognized and managed, caregivers can develop anxiety and depression.
Accept help. Be willing to accept help. If assistance is not readily available, consider community agencies or hire in-home help if resources are available. Do not try to go it alone.
Join a Support Group. Support groups allow caregivers to share and talk about their experiences with other caregivers. Support groups can help to refuel and provide caregivers with valuable insights of others who walk in your shoes.