Caregivers… you’ve got a lot to do. Taking care of your loved one/client is no easy task. You may be helping with or actually doing all of their ADL’s, but there’s so much more. You may also take on all of the chores that they used to do such as laundry, yard work, cooking, house maintenance, carpooling, etc. Don’t forget that you’ll also be doing your own ADLs as well as you own daily activities thereby making you responsible for the care of two people.
Taking care of someone else as well as well taking over all of their previous household duties, can be overwhelming. The key is to take care of yourself. Don’t skip out on the things you love to do. Visit a physical therapist or CNA to help teach you how to use proper body mechanics. Get whatever devices they recommend to help you with whatever you need to do. Remember, if you are hurt, you are not helpful to yourself or to the other person.
When helping a loved one/client, keep in mind that they need to do whatever they can do. If you become restless or time pressured and do the activities for them, they will lose the ability to perform those tasks on their own.
It is also crucial that they use their muscles as much as possible. It may seem easier for you to push the wheelchair, but it’s more beneficial to them, if they rotate the rims themselves. Similarly, it might be difficult to watch a long tooth brushing session but better for the person if they do it themselves. The best to remember is use it or lose it.
As caregiver, your burden will be lightened by taking help when offered and by seeking professional help when needed. On the positive side, your hard work will enable your loved one/client to maintain as much of their dignity and independence as their illness allows. You will both live better qualities of life.