When a loved one needs your care, it can be all too easy to dedicate yourself to meeting their needs. But in order to care for a loved one, you, the caregiver, need to take care of yourself, too. These four steps can help to keep you safe and healthy so you can care for your loved one.
Take Care of Your Emotional Health
Caregiving, especially when you’re caring for a family member, is an emotionally draining and stressful process. It’s important to take care of your emotional health so that you can be fully present for your loved one.
Monitor yourself for signs of compassion fatigue, such as mood changes, a short temper, and feelings of exhaustion. Be sure to set aside some free time for yourself to do activities that you enjoy, as well as to rest up and recharge. If the demands of caregiving are draining you emotionally, then try to bring in someone – whether it’s another family member or a professional caregiver – to help.
Monitor Your Physical Health
Often, caregiving is highly physical, and while you may be concerned about your loved one’s physical health, you might overlook the importance of your own physical health, too. The healthier that you can keep yourself, though, the better prepared you’ll be to give your loved one quality care.
Take some time to ensure you get some exercise in, and eat healthy meals. Make sure that you get enough sleep, and pay attention to what your body is telling you. Don’t ignore pain, since it may indicate an issue that can quickly become a larger problem. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your loved one.
When you step into a caregiving position for a loved one, you don’t have the years of education and training that a doctor, nurse, or professional caregiver can draw on. That means it’s even more important for you to make sure that you’re educated and prepared for the task.
Education starts with understanding your loved one’s conditions, limitations, and what to expect. But it’s also important to talk with a doctor, physical therapist, or nurse so that you can learn proper caregiving techniques, such as how to safely perform a transfer.
Get the Right Equipment
Here at Med Mart, we hear from too many caregivers that they can no longer lift or transfer their family members because they’ve injured their own backs through caregiving. Having the right equipment can make your caregiving safer for both you and your family member, potentially preventing injuries to you both.
Luckily, medical equipment continues to be improved, and there are some amazing and innovative devices available to make caregiving safer. At MedMart, we offer the following equipment to help you care for your loved one right within your own home:
- Lift chairs
- Sara Stedy
- Sit to stand lifts
- Hi-low beds, Trendelenburg beds, wider beds to allow for turning
- Med Mizer Pivot bed
- Lightweight wheelchairs
- Transport chairs
- Patient lifts
- Transfer aids
- Vehicle lifts for getting wheelchairs, power chairs, and scooters into cars
These items are just the start when it comes to medical equipment for safer caregiving.
If you are caring for a loved one at home, let us help you choose the equipment that you need to keep both you and your loved one safe. Please give us a call, and we would be happy to answer any questions about the products and help you choose the best option for your loved one’s needs, your home, and your budget.