10 Tips for Caregivers of the Disabled

World Disability Day - Seniors Today

A Guide for the Caregiver

On World Disability Day, we would like to share a guide for the caregivers of people suffering from various disabilities. And these are also applicable for caregivers of senior citizens.

Being a caregiver of your loved ones could be daunting. The responsibilities of a caregiver are not easy – it can be very tiresome, frustrating and stressful, both mentally and physically. It is essential for the caregiver to be compassionate and mentally prepared with an open mind towards their loved ones and themselves while offering support.

Here are the 10 ways to stay positive while caring for your loved one

  1. Avoid taking things personally – As a caregiver, one must learn to empathize rather get offended by the care recipient. People who are you are taking care of might be having mood swings or probably feeling under the weather. Just because they react in a certain way does not mean they don’t appreciate your support. So refrain from draining your energy by getting frustrated rather let it go.
  1. Never show them you feel sorry for their condition – Often we tend to easily feel sorry for disabled people. As a caregiver, it is a must that you show love and concern. How we express our emotions has an impact on the care recipient.
  1. Patience is the key – Caring for disabled people one needs to be patient. As a caregiver, you cannot expect them to perform their daily tasks right away. You need to give them time to learn to do what you want them to do.
  2. Correct lifting techniques to avoid injury – When lifting the disabled, always use the correct posture to prevent from injuring yourself. Here are some correct lifting techniques to prevent injury.
  • Keep your head and neck with your spine in proper alignment.
  • When lifting, don’t bend at your waist. Instead, use the strength in your legs to lift or pull.
  • Try to never twist your body when carrying a person.
  • Hold the patient who is being moved close to your body.
  • Keep your balance by allowing enough distance between your feet to support the weight.
  1. Things to keep in mind – As a caregiver, you need to track your loved ones’ daily task performances. Understand how much care is needed. Be realistic about how much care you can provide without harming your own health. This will help you be an efficient caregiver.

Self-care is important when it comes to caregiving 

  1. You deserve a break from time to time – Take small breaks in between, working for long hours without taking a break will make you feel frustrated. At some point, you will need to build a private support network. Begin by making a list of people whom you can call whenever you need to rest. This will let you take a day off – to go to movies with your friends, unwind, have a good time, re-energize and it will clear your mind.
  2. Get help with caregiving – Keep an open mind and be flexible. It might seem like finding a caregiving help takes too much time and effort. Instead, look at it as an investment. Extra help will let to have breaks from time to time, reduce stress and decrease workload.
  1. Sleep is important – Sleep is very important and you should always find time to allow your body to rest. Lack of sufficient sleep interferes with how the brain works and can also lead to serious diseases and complications.
  1. Exercise will make you get through any hard day – It is important to strike a physical and mental balance when it comes to caring for disabled people. Exercising will aid stress and help build body strength and stamina which is required for disabled caregiving. Sweating while exercising releases endorphins – this will help you keep a positive approach throughout the day.
  1. By the end of the day be sure to make some ‘me’ time – after a long tiring day, you need to find time to concentrate on yourself. Do things which make you happy and relaxed such as – watching your favorite show, taking a warm bath, indulge in some dessert. Or read a book.

It is important to acknowledge that caregiving is one of the toughest and most stressful tasks. Hence pace yourself and stay as healthy as possible so you can continue providing great care.

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