Often no one. We want to at least try to help. The role of caregiver sometimes takes a heavy physical, financial, or emotional toll. While most of us willingly make these sacrifices for the ones we love, if you burn out, then what? There are many resources available to ease your stress, help you access resources for your loved one and, importantly, support you to maintain your own well-being.
In Being a Health Advocate, we share very practical links to free government resources you may not know about, tips for dealing with issues related to healthcare, homecare, seniors, housing, and more.
Being a healthy health advocate though, means finding small ways each day to put yourself first. Not from the perspective of being selfish, but from the perspective of being self-full. By this we mean that by filling yourself up, like you need to do with your car if you expect it to keep running, you support your own ability to continue to help your loved one. This can be as simple as minimizing food and beverages that cause energy spikes and crashes, like caffeine and alcohol. It could also mean walking around the house instead of sitting down when you talk on the phone to help maintain your circulation and keep your energy up. And staying connected to others can be a way to raise your energy. Being a caregiver can make you feel very lonely and isolated. But there are apps and support groups that can help you. Some people feel better after talking with a friend, stepping outside for fresh air, or taking some deep breaths. It really doesn't matter what works for you as long as you do it. Read more in Being a Health Advocate.