Caring for the Caregiver

Take Care of the Care Giver

The first thing you have to remember is to take care of yourself.
Taking care of someone who is ill or has just had surgery is very tiring. When it is a loved one, the task can be even more daunting. Paying attention to what your body is telling you and taking care of yourself is crucial and should not be pushed to the back of your things to do list. Being a caregiver is a hard job and your care should not be overlooked. Pay attention to you, the caregiver. Take care of yourself.

Nutrition
While you make sure that the proper nutrition is given to the person in your charge, don’t forget to eat properly as well. It takes little more time to prepare a nutritious meal for two than it does for one. Make sure that you follow any dietary instructions that you might get and if you aren’t sure, don’t hesitate to ask their physician. It won’t hurt you a bit to follow a healthy diet yourself.
You will also want to keep well hydrated. While drinking coffee might keep you awake and feeling charged up, make sure to drink plenty of water as well. Stay away from sugary sodas, the sugar will give you a short-lived rush followed by a not so nice crash. Drink herbal teas and decaf coffee for a change of pace.
Keeping Clean
The importance of cleanliness can not be stressed enough. Make sure you wash your hands before and after any tasks that require bodily contact. This may sound silly especially if this is a loved one, but this truly is for your safety as well as theirs. Wear gloves whenever coming into contact with bodily fluids or when cleaning surgical wounds and changing dressings. You don’t want to take the chance of giving them an infection. Besides, wearing gloves just makes sense. Some of the things you will have to touch are gross and can cause some serious illness. In short…keep it sanitized for your safety and wellness.
Get Enough Rest
Proper rest truly does heal. Whenever possible, if they are taking a nap during the day, you should get some rest as well. A nap as short as fifteen minutes can be rejuvenating. Getting the proper sleep at night,(at least seven hours) will give your body the chance to regroup and get ready for the next day of care giving. Pay attention to your body. You know what to look for in your patient, so pay attention to yourself as well.
Remember, the most important thing after taking care of the person that you are responsible for is to take care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t properly be able to take care of your patient or loved one.