Nurse and older woman smiling together

The answer is in you!

There are millions of people everyday who are faced with the challenges of having to care for a loved one, friend, someone who is chronically ill, disabled or the elderly. The difference between you and the nurses is that you do not get paid for your level of care and commitment.
Anyone who has been in or is currently in the position of having to take care of a loved one, knows what a difficult job it is, and can take its toll on your well-being and health as well. Mental stress has to be the number one side effect of having to take on such a task.

Can you help yourself?

There are ways to combat the stress and minimize it and here are some tips for helping yourself, so that you can continue to help your loved one.

First, never be afraid to ask for help. You are only one person and the challenges that you might face when taking care of someone, is sometimes very overwhelming and then you add the other stresses of your personal life and this could lead to disaster if you always try to play the super hero and do everything all on your own. When you ask for help from other friends or family members, you might be surprised at how willing they are to lend you a hand, even if you just need a mental break from it all.

Own your role

If you happen to actually be the caregiver for a parent, you might often find it difficult to actually tell your parent what to do. You do not necessarily have to bark orders at them, but they know they need help, this is why you are there. The problem or the difficulty rests mainly in your mind. It might be easier instead of taking on the feeling that you are bossing your parent around, look at it from the perspective of assisting instead of being the boss.

Don’t get frustrated

It is often mentally draining to take care of someone else and sometimes the refusal of your help from a loved one is very frustrating. Before you get to the brink of complete frustration or anger, you should definitely take a mental moment. Excuse yourself from the house and take a quick walk, or ask for assistance if you are in the position of not being able to leave your loved one alone for any given moment. Take time out for yourself. You both will be better served when your mind is clear.

Educate yourself

Keeping yourself educated on the every changing world of health and medicine is important too. Make sure that you know and understand all of the aspects of the persons condition that you are taking care of, and try to stay on top of the new and more readily available medicines that might make more of a difference than the ones they are currently taking for whatever condition or ailment.

Laugh Out-loud

Continue to keep your sense of humor about life and laugh often. The phrase that laughter is the best medicine, is often spot on.