As we talked about recently, caregivers face their own unique health challenges. Chronic pain caregivers, help is available to keep you healthy while caring for your loved ones. Here are some ways caregivers can take care of themselves.
1. Get connected
Several organizations, national and local, are devoted to caregivers and helping them with their needs. Organizations offer training, ways to take care of yourself, and can give you a feeling of connectedness when you’re feeling down.
Caregiver.org hosts an online support group and educational webinars and a video archive focusing on topics such as bathing techniques to avoid injury. Caregiver Action Network also offers a repository of information designed to make life easier.
Locally, there is a list of caregiver support groups in Nevada, provided by Caregiver.com, a magazine covering issues of concern to the caregiver community.
2. Ask for help
If you try to do everything yourself, you’ll need help too before you know it. Asking a friend or family member to step in for a day so you can catch a movie or spend some time alone helps to keep your spirits high. If you don’t have any friends or family available to cover for you, consider respite care.
Respite care allows caregivers to take a break of several hours or longer to catch up on chores, exercise, or enjoy much-needed alone time. Costs for respite care vary, but are sometimes available on a sliding scale.
3. Take care of your health
Exercise for 30 minutes, four days each week at minimum, recommends the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Exercising reduces stress, improves sleep quality, and supports health. Restful sleep is an important part of health. If caregiving demands make it difficult to sleep through the night, AAFP recommends napping when your loved one does.
Eating a balanced diet is also key, and healthy meals can be eaten with the person managing chronic pain. Keeping on top of physical exams and routine check-ups is also important to stay healthy and catch any health issues early.
4. Stay organized
Keep all doctors’ notes in a file and keep detailed records, including people you talk with on the phone regarding health care, researchers recommend. List keeping and knowing where to find information and needed items helps cut down on stress and makes you feel more in control.
What impacts has caregiving for a chronic pain patient had on your life? How do you manage? Do you need additional help? Contact our team at NVCPC today!