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Through the Eyes of a Caregiver: The Bumpy Road of Emotions

May 4, 2016

When a loved one falls ill, family members are usually asked to step up to the plate to aid their family. However, there is almost always one family member who takes on the bulk of the care. As the primary caregiver you not only have to manage all aspects of your loved one’s care, but you will be the one to keep your family up-to-date. This can create a bumpy road of emotions. While caring for your loved one in their time of need can be quite stressful, it can also open up your relationship to a new emotional level. Remember, as a caregiver your level of stress reflects on who you are caring for so strive to keep your cool.

Keeping Family Members Updated

Email is one of the easiest ways to keep your family members updated. It allows you to notify everyone at once, and allows everyone to respond as a group. If the health condition is ongoing, some families set up a private Facebook group for friends and family, or even a personal website.

Aside from communicating the ongoing changes in daily health, and diagnosis, many caregivers create a shared calendar with doctor’s appointments, and any gaps in the care schedule.

Phone calls and face-to-face interaction is certainly part of the equation, but electronic communication can save valuable time in a caregiver’s full schedule.

Managing the Day-To-Day

The day-to-day hands-on care can quickly become overwhelming, especially if your loved one is resistant to accepting care. Even if your loved one is not resistant, seeing them sick and in pain can be emotionally draining.

Caregivers often have to learn many new skills to ensure that they provide a superior quality of care. Medication management can be made easier with the use of daily pill boxes, and electronic medication reminders. Learning how to provide personal care related to hygiene may be uncomfortable, especially if your loved one is modest. A monitor can be used during the night to ensure your loved one can reach out while you are sleeping, or even during the day while you’re napping in between care. Concordia Private Care offers a number of these items, if you are interested in a helping hand.

On top of all of this, you have to attempt to find time for yourself. Losing track of your own personal life can lead to a disastrous outcome for your health.

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Staying Strong in Tough Times

Many caregivers feel like it is their responsibility to stay strong; both for their ailing loved one, and for the rest of their family. This responsibility can create a lot of emotional stress, and if not expressed can really build up—and result in caregiver burnout.

There often comes a point in time where the primary caregiver finds themselves on the brink of burnout, yet unable to accept outside respite from other family members. This is often related to strong sense of guilt for going on with your life. However, truly finding your balance is the key to delivering a consistent quality of care.

The Invaluable Time Spent With Your Loved One

Whether caring for a sick child, aging parent, or terminally ill spouse—there will be many shining moments during your time together. This includes sincere moments, shared stories, and loving moments that will stay with you forever. Even the acceptance of limitations and end of life can be quite powerful. It is these positive and enlightening moments that will stay with you for years to come.

There will be many bumps in the road, but with the help of friends, family, caregiver support groups, and respite you can feel supported while navigating through the care process.

If taking on a primary caregiving role has become too much, schedule a tour of one of the beautiful senior care communities from Concordia Lutheran Ministries or call Concordia Private Care to learn about in-home care options. Our caregivers put their faith into everything they do, helping seniors and others make the most out of each and every day. We try to provide revitalization for our residents, offering a fresh start in a beautiful community. Take a tour of a Concordia location near you today.  You can also call our administrative headquarters at 1-888-352-1571 or message us through the Contact form on our website.

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