Written by Active Minds on Friday the 29th of January 2016.
Being a carer is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Whether you’re a care professional or you’re caring for a loved one, your days are often going to be both physically and emotionally exhausting. Because of this, it’s essential that you make time to care for yourself as well as others. Making sure to take some personal time is crucial to your health and well-being as well as ensuring that you are able to carry out your everyday tasks to the best of your ability. If you or someone you know is a carer, take a look at these top tips for looking after yourself.
Since being a carer for a loved one is often a full-time job, you may find that you have to give up your current employment. If you are caring for someone full-time, there are many allowances and benefits you could be eligible for (such as the Carer’s Allowance) so do make sure to do your research and make sure you’re getting all the financial help you’re entitled to. If you’re confused about benefits, Carers UK is a great place to start. Sorting out your finances and getting some extra assistance can help to alleviate the unnecessary stress of worrying about money.
Having the right equipment for the job can make everyday tasks a whole lot easier; why open a bottle with a knife when you could have a proper bottle opener instead? Installing equipment in your home that’s designed to make your loved one’s life easier can mean the difference between you doing everything or them being able to do more for themselves. Not only will this free up your time, it will help your loved one regain their sense of dignity and independence. Dementia equipment can range from something specific like dementia signage designed to help them find their way around to products such as rails in the bathroom or stair-lifts for the elderly or people who are experiencing physical difficulties as part of their condition.
As a carer, you can often spend so much time thinking about your loved one’s needs and feelings that you entirely neglect your own. The busy life of a carer does not leave you much time to consider how you’re coping with your loved one’s condition or how you feel about the big changes that have happened in your life. Keeping these emotions bottled up can lead to isolation and depression so it’s good to confide in someone you trust. If you don’t feel that you have anyone you can talk to or anyone close to you that would understand, you can always join a carers support group such as Carers Network.