We also want to take care of the one we love by ourselves to give them the best care in the world and make their pain go away. It seems ironic, but sometimes caregivers end up in hospital for being too engrossed in taking care of their patients. Caregiving can be an emotional roller coaster. That’s why we comprise some tips for you to take care of yourself while caring for your patients.
Take care of yourself
Caregivers are often too focus on the patient health that they forget about theirs. Remember, your health is your patient’s heath. Take some down time to relax, exercise, and eat healthily. You are a role model for your patients and by setting a good example, you can get your patient to do the same. We know it’s tough, but try not to let your patient’s bad day rub off on you.
Control your stress level
Being a caregiver can wear out even the healthiest people. The chronic stress of caring for a loved one with lung disease could potentially lead to your own health issues. Common signs of caregiver stress include the following:
- Feeling sad or moody;
- Crying more often than you used to;
- Having low energy level;
- Feeling like you don’t have any time to yourself;
- Having trouble sleeping, not wanting to get out of bed in the morning;
- Having trouble eating, eating too much;
- Seeing friends or relatives less often than you used to;
- Losing interest in your hobbies or the things you used to do with friends or family;
- Feeling angry at the person you are caring for, at other people, or situations.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re caring for someone else. Take some time for yourself. Go on a long run, or practice yoga or meditation to release some of the stress of your day.
It’s OK to ask for help
You’re not alone. You can call a family member, a doctor, or a support group. There are also many organizations that offer advice for caregivers. Many caregivers feel guilty about turning the responsibilities over to another person. This may be because they feel it’s their responsibility or they don’t want to burden anyone else. But you’re not super human and no one expects you to be a COPD caregiver. You might be surprised by the number of people who wouldn’t mind taking over for a day or two. List down the ways you can delegate some caregiver responsibilities to other people. For example, you may delegate some responsibilities to a family member or a friend of the patient. By just taking an hour or so for yourself once a week you can significantly improve your mood. This can give you some time for yourself to go for a massage, eat lunch with a friend, or watch a movie. You might even find that your patient enjoys the little vacation too.
Join a support group
Let us say this again, you’re not alone. Talking to other caregivers is a great way to find emotional support. People in support groups, who have or are going through the same exact obstacles as you, can be a great emotional support. Many communities have support groups where fellow caregivers offer advice and encouragement. You can even find support on the internet, and look up a local support group in your area. Just by talking to someone about your day you can reduce your stress level and lead a healthier lifestyle. Along the way, you may make some new friends.
Remember, you’re a hero
We know that being a COPD caregiver is a full-time job, and this might be easier said than done. One thing we hear over and over again from patients is that their COPD caregivers are their heroes. You aren’t just a COPD caregiver. You are a smart, incredibly strong, compassionate and giving person. Without you, your patient would have limited options. Give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself for what you have accomplished.
Whether you’re a spouse, family member, trained professional or friend, assuming the role of a caregiver for someone with (COPD) or lung disease is not an easy task. There can be great sadness, feelings of isolation, and stress due to lack of leisure and personal time. It’s important to take the initiative to improve the quality of life for both your loved one and yourself. By feeling better, you can help your loved one feel better.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
6 Important Tips for a COPD Caregiver. https://lunginstitute.com/blog/6-important-tips-for-a-copd-caregiver/ . Accessed December 29, 2016.
COPD: A Caregiver’s Guide. http://www.healthline.com/health/copd/caregiver-guide . Accessed December 29, 2016.
Caring for a COPD Patient at Home. http://www.everydayhealth.com/copd/copd-caregiving.aspx . Accessed December 29, 2016.