Dealing with Loneliness as a Caregiver
Loneliness is a common problem that family caregivers can face. Learning how to cope with the problem is essential so that you don’t find yourself facing caregiver burnout. Taking care of yourself means much more than just eating right and getting enough sleep. You have to take care of your emotions, too.
Connect with Caring People
As a caregiver for an elderly loved one, it’s important to set up a support system for yourself. This can be your existing network of friends and family members or it can be a group of people who are going through some of the same things that you are. The main goal is to have people to whom you can reach out when you need a little extra support.
Establish Deeper Connections
Having a support system is a good start, but you need deeper connections with people who you can really vent with. It helps if these are people who have also had experience with caring for an elderly loved one. You’ll have moments when you’ll need to share your feelings of guilt, your good feelings, and those moments when you feel hopeless. Doing this with people that you really trust gives you more than just a sounding board.
Express How You Feel
Keeping your feelings to yourself, particularly the ones you might feel are “bad” feelings, doesn’t help you to work through them. When you’re having strong feelings, you need to be able to express them without worrying that they’ll be a burden to anyone in your life. Closing yourself off doesn’t help you to be a better caregiver. Instead, it can make you feel more isolated and alone. Talk with friends and confidants that you trust who can help you to put your feelings into perspective.
Ask for Help When You Need It
When you need help, whether it’s because you’re emotionally overwhelmed or simply because you’re one person, make sure that you ask for it. This can be help from other family members or from qualified home care providers. There’s no way that you can know how to do everything that your elderly loved one needs you to do, and there’s no shame in getting help.
Taking care of yourself and your feelings helps you to be a stronger caregiver.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in the New Haven Area, please call and speak to the caring staff at Talem Home Care. Call today at (203) 590-9099.