At Graves and Richard, we see clients whose lives are irreparably changed due to injuries from accidents, and these people often require caregiving help for a long time – or for the rest of their lives. While we do our best to get these clients the services they need, there are always family members who are then turned into caregivers, and that means their lives have changed as well.
Caregiving is a difficult, around-the-clock job, and it’s easy for caregivers to focus so much on their injured family member, that they forget to look after themselves. Here, we offer some tips to help caregivers cope with the ongoing responsibilities and still have time for their own hopes and dreams.
Ask questions. Make sure you understand your loved one’s condition. You need to know what he or she will need, what the prognosis is and how your responsibilities might change over time. Learning all of these things will help you plan for your own future, too.
Get help, even if you think you don’t need it right now. There may be publicly funded support available to you, your employer may offer paid leave for caregivers, or there might be programs where your loved one can go for therapy or companionship. Looking into whatever is available, and paying for extra help if you can afford it, will help you in the long run.
Take breaks. This might mean getting someone to relieve you so you can go for a walk, dinner out or a movie, or it might mean taking five extra minutes in the shower in the morning. Each day is different, so accept help when it’s offered, and remind yourself that it will help you be a better caregiver.