Almost everyone agrees that family is one of the most important things in our lives. And while some families can make it through with very few setbacks and challenges, others seem to face a new and seemingly insurmountable challenge each and every day.
Especially for those whose lives revolve around taking care of their family members for years or even decades, it can be hard to feel like your burdens ever let up. So for those who are taking care of family members with long-term disabilities, here are three ways you can get the support you need when you’re a caregiver.
Don’t Put All the Responsibility on Yourself
When your life is focused on taking care of someone else, it can be hard to find time for yourself or ways that you can give yourself a break every now and then. In order to help you to not feel like the entire weight of care is on your shoulders alone, the CDC advises that you don’t put all the responsibility on yourself.
If you have other family members around, ask them to split at least some of the tasks and time with you. For those who don’t have family or friends they can rely on, see what your options are for hiring caregiving help at least now and then to help ease your load when things get too hard.
Connect with Other Caregivers
Being a caregiver presents unique challenges and perspectives about things. The guilt and pressure that many caregivers feel often can’t be understood by those who haven’t been in a similar situation.
Because of this, HelpGuide.org suggests that caregivers try to connect with other caregivers as a support system. This can help you feel like you’re not alone in your struggles and can give you comfort and encouragement when you’re feeling low. On the flip side, you can help those who may be currently struggling in ways that you’re not.
Know When and How to Ask For Help
When you’re a caregiver, it’s just as important for you to know how to care for yourself as you for the family member who’s in your care. A big part of learning to care for yourself, according to NAMI.org, is learning how to ask for help when you need it.
In fact, those who you think have it all together on their own have probably asked for help in the past, which has enabled them to more forward and succeed. While you can ask people you know for help when you need it, you can also outsource some work or hire assistance so that you can be given an extra hand when you’re in need.
If you’re a caregiver for a disabled family member, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you find the support you need … and deserve!